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S. G. and £. L. ELBERT 


\ All 








u c 

He's gainin' ! doggone my cats, he's gamin' !' " 









Copyright, 1904, 


Dodd, Mead & Company 


To My Friend 


HAPPY HOLLOW ; are you wondering where 
it is? Wherever Negroes colonise in the cities 
or villages, north or south, wherever the hod 
carrier, the porter, and the waiter are the 
society men of the town; wherever the picnic 
and the excursion are the chief summer diver- 
sion, and the revival the winter time of 
repentance, wherever the cheese cloth veil ob- 
tains at a wedding, and the little white hearse 
goes by with black mourners in the one 
carriage behind, there — there — is Happy 
Hollow. Wherever laughter and tears rub 
elbows day by day, and the spirit of labour 
and laziness shake hands, there — there — is 
Happy Hollow, and of some of it may the fol- 
lowing pages show the heart. 

The Author. 



I The Scapegoat 3 

II One Christmas at Shiloh 35 

III The Mission op Mr. Scatters 53 

IV A Matter op Doctrine 87 
V Old Abe's Conversion 105 

VI The Race Question 125 

VII A Defender op the Faith 133 

VIII Cahoots 145 

IX The Promoter 163 

X The Wisdom of Silence 191 

XI The Triumph op Ol' Mis' Pease 207 

XII The Lynching of Jube Benson 223 

XIII Schwalliger's Philanthropy 243 

XIV The Interference of Patsy Ann 259 
XV The Home-coming of 'Rastus Smith 277 

XVI The Boy and the Bayonet 293 


" ( He's gamin* ! doggone my cats, 

he's gamin' ! ' " Frontispiece 

" c I don* see yo' back bowed so 

much by de yoke ' " facing page 42 

"He preached a powerful sermon, 
and at its close told something 
of his life " " « 100 

" Five thousand dollars was not to 

be carelessly handled ! " " " 1 50 

" c Say, if you says de ain't no 
Santy Claus again, I'll punch yo' 
head'" " " 200 

Schwalliger c< " 250 



THE law is usually supposed to be 
a stern mistress, not to be lightly 
wooed, and yielding only to the most 
ardent pursuit. But even law, like love, sits 
more easily on some natures than on others. 

This was the case with Mr. Robinson 
Asbury. Mr. Asbury had started life as a 
bootblack in the growing town of Cadgers. 
From this he had risen one step and become 
porter and messenger in a barber-shop. This 
rise fired his ambition, and he was not content 
until he had learned to use the shears and the 
razor and had a chair of his own. From 
this, in a man of Robinson's temperament, it 
was only a step to a shop of his own, and 
he placed it where it would do the most 


Fully one-half of the population of Cadgers 
was composed of Negroes, and with their 
usual tendency to colonise, a tendency encour- 
aged, and in fact compelled, by circumstances, 
they had gathered into one part of the town. 
Here in alleys, and streets as dirty and hardly 
wider, they thronged like ants. 

It was in this place that Mr. Asbury set up 
his shop, and he won the hearts of his prospec- 
tive customers by putting up the significant 
sign, " Equal Rights Barber-Shop." This 
legend was quite unnecessary, because there 
was only one race about, to patronise the place. 
But it was a delicate sop to the people's vanity, 
and it served its purpose. 

Asbury came to be known as a clever fellow, 
and his business grew. The shop really be- 
came a sort of club, and, on Saturday nights 
especially, was the gathering-place of the men 
of the whole Negro quarter. He kept the 
illustrated and race journals there, and those 
who cared neither to talk nor listen to someone 
else might see pictured the doings of high 



society in very short skirts or read in the Negro 
papers how Miss Boston had entertained Miss 
Blueford to tea on such and such an afternoon. 
Also, he kept the policy returns, which was 
wise, if not moral. 

It was his wisdom rather more than his 
morality that made the party managers after 
a while cast their glances toward him as a man 
who might be useful to their interests. It 
would be well to have a man — a shrewd, 
powerful man — down in that part of the town 
who could carry his people's vote in his vest 
pocket, and who at any time its delivery might 
be needed, could hand it over without hesita- 
tion. Asbury seemed that man, and they set- 
tled upon him. They gave him money, and 
they gave him power and patronage. He took 
it all silently and he carried out his bargain 
faithfully. His hands and his lips alike closed 
tightly when there was anything within them. 
It was not long before he found himself the 
big Xegro of the district and, of necessity, of 
the town. The time came when, at a critical 



moment, the managers saw that they had not 
reckoned without their host in choosing this 
barber of the black district as the leader of 
his people. 

Now, so much success must have satisfied 
any other man. But in many ways Mr. 
Asbury was unique. For a long time he him- 
self had done very little shaving — except of 
notes, to keep his hand in. His time had been 
otherwise employed. In the evening hours 
he had been wooing the coquettish Dame Law, 
and, wonderful to say, she had yielded easily 
to his advances. 

It was against the advice of his friends that 
he asked for admission to the bar. They felt 
that he could do more good in the place where 
he was. 

" You see, Robinson," said old Judge Davis, 
"it's just like this: If you're not admitted, 
it'll hurt you with the people; if you are ad- 
mitted, you'll move uptown to an office and 
get out of touch with them." 

Asbury smiled an inscrutable smile. Then 



he whispered something into the judge's ear 
that made the old man wrinkle from his neck 
up with appreciative smiles. 

"Asbury," he said, "you are — you are — 
well, you ought to be white, that's all. When 
we find a black man like you we send him to 
State's prison. If you were white, you'd go to 
the Senate." 

The Negro laughed confidently. 

He was admitted to the bar soon after, 
whether by merit or by connivance is not to 
be told. 

"Now he will move uptown," said the 
black community. " Well, that's the way with 
a coloured man when he gets a start." 

But they did not know Asbury Robinson 
yet. He was a man of surprises, and they were 
destined to disappointment. He did not move 
uptown. He built an office in a small open 
space next his shop, and there hung out his 

" I will never desert the people who have 
done so much to elevate me," said Mr. Asbury. 



" I will live among them and I will die among 

This was a strong card for the barber- 
lawyer. The people seized upon the state- 
ment as expressing a nobility of an altogether 
unique brand. 

They held a mass meeting and indorsed 
him. They made resolutions that extolled 
him, and the Negro band came around and 
serenaded him, playing various things in 
varied time. 

All this was very sweet to Mr. Asbury, and 
the party managers chuckled with satisfac- 
tion and said, "That Asbury, that Asbury!" 

Now there is a fable extant of a man who 
tried to please everybody, and his failure is a 
matter of record. Robinson Asbury was not 
more successful. But be it said that his ill 
success was due to no fault or shortcoming of 

For a long time his growing power had 
been looked upon with disfavour by the col- 
oured law firm of Bingo & Latchett. Both Mr. 



Bingo and Mr. Latchett themselves aspired 
to be Negro leaders in Cadgers, and they were 
delivering Emancipation Day orations and 
riding at the head of processions when Mi^. 
Asbury was blacking boots. Is it any wonder, 
then, that they viewed with alarm his sudden 
rise? They kept their counsel, however, and 
treated with him, for it was best. They 
allowed him his scope without open revolt 
until the day upon which he hung out his 
shingle. This was the last straw. They could 
stand no more. Asbury had stolen their other 
chances from them, and now he was poaching 
upon the last of their preserves. So Mr. 
Bingo and Mr. Latchett put their heads 
together to plan the downfall of their common 

The plot was deep and embraced the forma- 
tion of an opposing faction made up of the 
best Negroes of the town. It would have 
looked too much like what it was for the gen- 
tlemen to show themselves in the matter, and 
so they took into their confidence Mr. Isaac 



Morton, the principal of the coloured school, 
and it was under his ostensible leadership 
that the new faction finally came into 

Mr. Morton was really an innocent young 
man, and he had ideals which should never 
have been exposed to the air. When the wily 
confederates came to him with their plan he 
believed that his worth had been recognised, 
and at last he was to be what Nature destined 
him for — a leader. 

The better class of Negroes — by that is 
meant those who were particularly envious of 
Asbury's success — flocked to the new man's 
standard. But whether the race be white or 
black, political virtue is always in a minority, 
so Asbury could afford to smile at the force 
arrayed against him. 

The new faction met together and resolved.. 
They resolved, among other things, that Mr. 
Asbury was an enemy to his race and a menace 
to civilisation. They decided that he should 
be abolished ; but, as they couldn't get out an 



injunction against him, and as he had the 
whole undignified but still voting black belt 
behind him, he went serenely on his way. 

" They're after you hot and heavy, Asbury," 
said one of his friends to him. 

" Oh, yes," was the reply, " they're after me, 
but after a while I'll get so far away that 
they'll be running in front." 

" It's all the best people, they say." 

" Yes. Well, it's good to be one of the best 
people, but your vote only counts one just the 

The time came, however, when Mr. As- 
bury's theory was put to the test. The Cadger- 
ites celebrated the first of January as Emanci- 
pation Day. On this day there was a large 
procession, with speechmaking in the after- 
noon and fireworks at night. It was the cus- 
tom to concede the leadership of the coloured 
people of the town to the man who managed 
to lead the procession. For two years past 
this honour had fallen, of course, to Robinson 
Asbury, and there had been no disposition on 



the part of anybody to try conclusions with 

Mr. Morton's faction changed all this. 
When Asbury went to work to solicit contri- 
butions for the celebration, he suddenly be- 
came aware that he had a fight upon his hands. 
All the better-class Negroes were staying out 
of it. The next thing he knew was that plans 
were on foot for a rival demonstration. 

"Oh," he said to himself, "that's it, is it? 
Well, if they want a fight they can have it." 

He had a talk with the party managers, and 
he had another with Judge Davis. 

"All I want is a little lift, judge," he said, 
" and I'll make 'em think the sky has turned 
loose and is vomiting niggers." 

The judge believed that he could do it. So 
did the party managers. Asbury got his lift. 
Emancipation Day came. 

There were two parades. At least, there 
was one parade and the shadow of another. 
Asbury's, however, was not the shadow. There 
was a great deal of substance about it — sub- 



stance made up of many people, many banners, 
and numerous bands. He did not have the 
best people. Indeed, among his cohorts there 
were a good many of the pronounced rag-tag 
and bobtail. But he had noise and numbers. 
In such cases, nothing more is needed. The 
success of Asbury's side of the affair did every- 
thing to confirm his friends in their good 
opinion of him. 

When he found himself defeated, Mr. Silas 
Bingo saw that it would be policy to placate 
his rival's just anger against him. He called 
upon him at his office the day after the cele- 

"Well, Asbury," he said, "you beat us, 
didn't you?" 

" It wasn't a question of beating," said the 
other calmly. " It was only an inquiry as to 
who were the people — the few or the many." 

" Well, it was well done, and you've shown 
that you are a manager. I confess that I 
haven't always thought that you were doing 
the wisest thing in living down here and cater- 



ing to this class of people when you might, 
with your ability, to be much more to the 
better class." 

"What do they base their claims of being 
better on?" 

"Oh, there ain't any use discussing that. 
We can't get along without you, we see that. 
So I, for one, have decided to work with you 
for harmony." 

" Harmony. Yes, that's what we want." 

" If I can do anything to help you at any 
time, why you have only to command me." 

" I am glad to find such a friend in you. Be 
sure, if I ever need you, Bingo, I'll call on 

"And I'll be ready to serve you." 

Asbury smiled when his visitor was gone. 
He smiled, and knitted his brow. " I wonder 
what Bingo's got up his sleeve," he said. 
" He'll bear watching." 

It may have been pride at his triumph, it 
may have been gratitude at his helpers, but 
Asbury went into the ensuing campaign with 



reckless enthusiasm. He did the most daring 
things for the party's sake. Bingo, true to his 
promise, was ever at his side ready to serve 
him. Finally, association and immunity made 
danger less fearsome; the rival no longer ap- 
peared a menace. 

With the generosity born of obstacles over- 
come, Asbury determined to forgive Bingo 
and give him a chance. He let him in on a 
deal, and from that time they worked amica- 
bly together until the election came and 

It was a close election and many things had 
had to be done, but there were men there 
ready and waiting to do them. They were 
successful, and then the first cry of the de- 
feated party was, as usual, "Fraud! Fraud!" 
The cry was taken up by the jealous, the dis- 
gruntled, and the virtuous. 

Someone remembered how two years ago 
the registration books had been stolen. It was 
known upon good authority that money had 
been freely used. Men held up their hands 



in horror at the suggestion that the Negro vote 
had been juggled with, as if that were a new 
thing. From their pulpits ministers de- 
nounced the machine and bade their hearers 
rise and throw off the yoke of a corrupt 
municipal government. One of those sudden 
fevers of reform had taken possession of the 
town and threatened to destroy the successful 

They began to look around them. They 
must purify themselves. They must give the 
people some tangible evidence of their own 
yearnings after purity. They looked around 
them for a sacrifice to lay upon the altar of 
municipal reform. Their eyes fell upon Mr. 
Bingo. No, he was not big enough. His blood 
was too scant to wash away the political stains. 
Then they looked into each other's eyes and 
turned their gaze away to let it fall upon Mr. 
Asbury. They really hated to do it. But there 
must be a scapegoat. The god from the 
Machine commanded them to slay him. 

Robinson Asbury was charged with many 



crimes — with all that he had committed and 
some that he had not. When Mr. Bingo saw 
what was afoot he threw himself heart and 
soul into the work of his old rival's enemies. 
He was of incalculable use to them. 

Judge Davis refused to have anything to do 
with the matter. But in spite of his disap- 
proval it went on. Asbury was indicted and 
tried. The evidence was all against him, and 
no one gave more damaging testimony than 
his friend, Mr. Bingo. The judge's charge 
was favourable to the defendant, but the cur- 
rent of popular opinion could not be entirely 
stemmed. The jury brought in a verdict of 

" Before I am sentenced, judge, I have a 
statement to make to the court. It will take 
less than ten minutes." 

" Go on, Robinson," said the judge kindly. 

Asbury started, in a monotonous tone, a re- 
cital that brought the prosecuting attorney to 
his feet in a minute. The judge waved him 
down, and sat transfixed by a sort of fascinated 



horror as the convicted man went on. The 
before-mentioned attorney drew a knife and 
started for the prisoner's dock. With diffi- 
culty he was restrained. A dozen faces in the 
court-room were red and pale by turns. 

" He ought to be killed," whispered Mr. 
Bingo audibly. 

Robinson Asbury looked at him and smiled, 
and then he told a few things of him. He 
gave the ins and outs of some of the misde- 
meanours of which he stood accused. He 
showed who were the men behind the throne. 
And still, pale and transfixed, Judge Davis 
waited for his own sentence. 

Never were ten minutes so well taken up. 
It was a tale of rottenness and corruption in 
high places told simply and with the stamp of 
truth upon it. 

He did not mention the judge's name. But 
he had torn the mask from the face of every 
other man who had been concerned in his 
downfall. They had shorn him of his strength, 
but they had forgotten that he was yet able 



to bring the roof and pillars tumbling about 
their heads. 

The judge's voice shook as he pronounced 
sentence upon his old ally — a year in State's 

Some people said it was too light, but the 
judge knew what it was to wait for the sen- 
tence of doom, and he was grateful and sym- 

When the sheriff led Asbury away the judge 
hastened to have a short talk with him. 

" I'm sorry, Robinson," he said, " and I 
want to tell you that you were no more guilty 
than the rest of us. But why did you spare 

"Because I knew you were my friend," 
answered the convict. 

" I tried to be, but you were the first man 
that I've ever known since I've been in poli- 
tics who ever gave me any decent return for 

" I reckon you're about right, judge." 

In politics, party reform usually lies in 



making a scapegoat of someone who is only 
as criminal as the rest, but a little weaker. 
Asbury's friends and enemies had succeeded 
in making him bear the burden of all the 
party's crimes, but their reform was hardly a 
success, and their protestations of a change of 
heart were received with doubt. Already 
there were those who began to pity the victim 
and to say that he had been hardly dealt with. 
Mr. Bingo was not of these; but he found, 
strange to say, that his opposition to the idea 
went but a little way, and that even with As- 
bury out of his path he was a smaller man than 
he was before. Fate was strong against him. 
His poor, prosperous humanity could not 
enter the lists against a martyr. Robinson 
Asbury was now a martyr. 


A year is not a long time. It was short 
enough to prevent people from forgetting 
Robinson, and yet long enough for their pity 

to grow strong as they remembered. Indeed, 



he was not gone a year. Good behaviour cut 
two months off the time of his sentence, and 
by the time people had come around to the 
notion that he was really the greatest and 
smartest man in Cadgers he was at home 

He came back with no flourish of trumpets, 
but quietly, humbly. He went back again into 
the heart of the black district. His business 
had deteriorated during his absence, but he 
put new blood and new life into it. He did 
not go to work in the shop himself, but, taking 
down the shingle that had swung idly before 
his office door during his imprisonment, he 
opened the little room as a news- and cigar- 

Here anxious, pitying custom came to him 
and he prospered again. He was very quiet. 
Uptown hardly knew that he was again in 
Cadgers, and it knew nothing whatever of his 

" I wonder why Asbury is so quiet," they 
said to one another. " It isn't like him to be 



quiet." And they felt vaguely uneasy about 

So many people had begun to say, "Well, 
he was a mighty good fellow after all." 

Mr. Bingo expressed the opinion that As- 
bury was quiet because he was crushed, but 
others expressed doubt as to this. There are 
calms and calms, some after and some before 
the storm. Which was this? 

They waited a while, and, as no storm came, 
concluded that this must be the after-quiet. 
Bingo, reassured, volunteered to go and seek 
confirmation of this conclusion. 

He went, and Asbury received him with an 
indifferent, not to say, impolite, demeanour. 

"Well, we're glad to see you back, Asbury," 
said Bingo patronisingly. He had variously 
demonstrated his inability to lead during his 
rival's absence and was proud of it. "What 
are you going to do?" 

" I'm going to work." 

" That's right. I reckon you'll stay out of 




"What could I do even if I went in?" 

"Nothing now, of course; but I didn't 
know " 

He did not see the gleam in Asbury's half 
shut eyes. He only marked his humility, and 
he went back swelling with the news. 

" Completely crushed — all the run taken 
out of him," was his report 

The black district believed this, too, and a 
sullen, smouldering anger took possession of 
them. Here was a good man ruined. Some 
of the people whom he had helped in his for- 
mer days — some of the rude, coarse people of 
the low quarter who were still sufficiently un- 
enlightened to be grateful — talked among 
themselves and offered to get up a demonstra- 
tion for him. But he denied them. No, he 
wanted nothing of the kind. It would only 
bring him into unfavourable notice. All he 
wanted was that they would always be his 
friends and would stick by him. 

They would to the death. 

There were again two factions in Cadgers. 



The schoolmaster could not forget how once 
on a time he had been made a tool of by Mr. 
Bingo. So he revolted against his rule and set 
himself up as the leader of an opposing clique. 
The fight had been long and strong, but 
had ended with odds slightly in Bingo's 

But Mr. Morton did not despair. As the 
first of January and Emancipation Day ap- 
proached, he arrayed his hosts, and the fight 
for supremacy became fiercer than ever. The 
schoolteacher is giving you a pretty hard 
brought the school-children in for chorus 
singing, secured an able orator, and the best 
essayist in town. With all this, he was formi- 

Mr. Bingo knew that he had the fight of 
his life on his hands, and he entered with fear 
as well as zest. He, too, found an orator, but 
he was not sure that he was as good as Mor- 
ton's. There was no doubt but that his essayist 
was not. He secured a band, but still he felt 
unsatisfied. He had hardly done enough, and 



for the schoolmaster to beat him now meant 
his political destruction. 

It was in this state of mind that he was sur- 
prised to receive a visit from Mr. Asbury. 

" I reckon you're surprised to see me here," 
said Asbury, smiling. 

" I am pleased, I know." Bingo was astute. 

"Well, I just dropped in on business." 

" To be sure, to be sure, Asbury. What can 
I do for you?" 

" It's more what I can do for you that I 
came to talk about," was the reply. 

" I don't believe I understand you." 

" Well, it's plain enough. They say that the 
school-teacher is giving you a pretty hard 

" Oh, not so hard." 

"No man can be too sure of winning, 
though. Mr. Morton once did me a mean 
turn when he started the faction against me." 

Bingo's heart gave a great leap, and then 
stopped for the fraction of a second. 

"You were in it, of course," pursued As- 



bury, " but I can look over your part in it in 
order to get even with the man who started it." 

It was true, then, thought Bingo gladly. He 
did not know. He wanted revenge for his 
wrongs and upon the wrong man. How well 
the schemer had covered his tracks! Asbury 
should have his revenge and Morton would be 
the sufferer. 

" Of course, Asbury, you know what I did 
I did innocently." 

"Oh, yes, in politics we are all lambs and 
the wolves are only to be found in the other 
party. We'll pass that, though. What I want 
to say is that I can help you to make your cele- 
bration an overwhelming success. I still have 
some influence down in my district." 

" Certainly, and very justly, too. Why, I 
should be delighted with your aid. I could 
give you a prominent place in the procession." 

" I don't want it; I don't want to appear in 
this at all. All I want is revenge. You can 
have all the credit, but let me down my 



Bingo was perfectly willing, and, with their 
heads close together, they had a long and close 
consultation. When Asbury was gone, Mr. 
Bingo lay back in his chair and laughed. " I'm 
a slick duck," he said. 

From that hour Mr. Bingo's cause began to 
take on the appearance of something very like 
a boom. More bands were hired. The in- 
terior of the State was called upon and a more 
eloquent orator secured. The crowd hastened 
to array itself on the growing side. 

With surprised eyes, the schoolmaster be- 
held the wonder of it, but he kept to his own 
purpose with dogged insistence, even when he 
saw that he could not turn aside the over- 
whelming defeat that threatened him. But in 
spite of his obstinacy, his hours were dark and 
bitter. Asbury worked like a mole, all under- 
ground, but he was indefatigable. Two days 
before the celebration time everything was 
perfected for the biggest demonstration that 
Cadgers had ever known. All the next day 
and night he was busy among his allies. 



On the morning of the great day, Mr. 
Bingo, wonderfully caparisoned, rode down 
to the hall where the parade was to form. He 
was early. No one had yet come. In an 
hour a score of men all told had collected. 
Another hour passed, and no more had come. 
Then there smote upon his ear the sound of 
music. They were coming at last. Bring- 
ing his sword to his shoulder, he rode forward 
to the middle of the street. Ah, there they 
were. But — but — could he believe his eyes? 
They were going in another direction, and at 
their head rode — Morton! He gnashed his 
teeth in fury. He had been led into a trap 
and betrayed. The procession passing had 
been his — all his. He heard them cheering, 
and then, oh! climax of infidelity, he saw his 
own orator go past in a carriage, bowing and 
smiling to the crowd. 

There was no doubting who had done this 

thing. The hand of Asbury was apparent in 

it. He must have known the truth all along, 

thought Bingo. His allies left him one byj 



one for the other hall, and he rode home in a 
humiliation deeper than he had ever known 

Asbury did not appear at the celebration. 
He was at his little news-stand all day. 

In a day or two the defeated aspirant had 
further cause to curse his false friend. He 
found that not only had the people defected 
from him, but that the thing had been so 
adroitly managed that he appeared to be in 
fault, and three-fourths of those who knew 
him were angry at some supposed grievance. 
His cup of bitterness was full when his part- 
ner, a quietly ambitious man, suggested that 
they dissolve their relations. 

His ruin was complete. 

The lawyer was not alone in seeing Asbury's 
hand in his downfall. The party managers 
saw it too, and they met together to discuss 
the dangerous factor which, while it appeared 
to slumber, was so terribly awake. They de- 
cided that he must be appeased, and they 
visited him. 



He was still busy at his news-stand. They 
talked to him adroitly, while he sorted papers 
and kept an impassive face. When they were 
all done, he looked up for a moment and re- 
plied, " You know, gentlemen, as an ex-convict 
I am not in politics." 

Some of them had the grace to flush. 

" But you can use your influence," they said. 
; " I am not in politics," was his only reply. 

And the spring elections were coming on. 
Well, they worked hard, and he showed no 
sign. He treated with neither one party nor 
the other. " Perhaps," thought the managers, 
"he is out of politics," and they grew more 

It was nearing eleven o'clock on the morn- 
ing of election when a cloud no bigger than a 
man's hand appeared upon the horizon. It 
came from the direction of the black district. 
It grew, and the managers of the party in 
power looked at it, fascinated by an ominous 
dread. Finally it began to rain Negro voters, 
and as one man they voted against their former 



candidates. Their organisation was perfect. 
They simply came, voted, and left, but they 
overwhelmed everything. Not one of the 
party that had damned Robinson Asbury was 
left in power save old Judge Davis. His ma- 
jority was overwhelming. 

The generalship that had engineered the 
thing was perfect. There were loud threats 
against the newsdealer. But no one bothered 
him except a reporter. The reporter called 
to see just how it was done. He found As- 
bury very busy sorting papers. To the news- 
paper man's questions he had only this reply, 
" I am not in politics, sir." 

But Cadgers had learned its lesson. 





a "widder lady." So she de- 
scribed herself whenever anyone 
asked her as to her status in life. To her more 
intimate friends she confided that she was not 
a "weed widder," but one of the "grass" 
variety. The story of how her husband, Mad- 
ison, had never been " No 'count, even befo' de 
wah," and of his rapid degeneration there- 
after, was vividly told. 

" De fact of de mattah is," Mrs. Mixon was 
wont to say, "my man, Madison, was nevah 
no han' to wo'k. He was de settin'-downest 
man you evah seed. Hit wouldn't 'a' been so 
bad, but Madison was a lakly man, an' his 
tongue wah smoothah dan ile; so hit t'wan't 
no shakes fu' him to fool ol' Mas' 'bout his 
wo'k an' git erlong des erbout ez he pleased. 



Mas' Madison Mixon, hisse'f, was a mighty 
'dulgent so't o' man, an' he liked a laugh bet- 
tah dan anyone in de worl'. Well, my man 
could mek him laugh, an' dat was enough fu' 
him. I used to lectuah dat man much 'bout 
his onshifless ways, but he des went erlong, 
twell bimeby hyeah come de wah an' evah- 
thing was broke up. Den w'en hit come time 
dat Madison had to scramble fu' hisself, dey 
wa'nt no scramble in him. He des' wouldn't 
wo'k an' I had to do evahthing. He alius had 
what he called some gret scheme, but deh 
nevah seemed to come to nuffin, an' once when 
he got de folks to put some money in somep'n' 
dat broke up, dey come put' nigh tahin' an' 
featherin' him. Finally, I des got morchully 
tiahed o' dat man's ca'in' on, an' I say to him 
one day, ' Madison,' I say, ( I'm tiahed of all 
dis foo'ishness, an' I'm gwine up Norf whaih 
I kin live an' be somebody. Ef evah you mek 
a man out o' yo'se'f, an' want me, de Bible say 
1 Seek an' you shell receive.' Cause even den I 
was a mighty han' to c'ote de Scripters. Well, 



I lef ' him, an' Norf I come, 'dough it jes' nigh 
broke my hea't, fu' I sho did love dat black 
man. De las' thing I hyeahed o' him, he had 
des learned to read an' write an' wah runnin' 
fu' de Legislater 'twell de Klu Klux got aftah 
him ; den I think he 'signed de nomernation." 

This was Martha's story, and the reason 
that there was no Mr. Mixon with her when 
she came North, drifted from place to place 
and finally became one of New York's large 
black contingent from the South. To her the 
lessons of slavery had not been idle ones. In- 
dustrious, careful, and hard-working, she soon 
became prosperous, and when, hunting a spir- 
itual home she settled upon Shiloh Chapel, she 
was welcomed there as a distinct addition to 
the large and active membership. 

Shiloh was not one of the fashionable 
churches of the city, but it was primarily a 
church home for any Southern negro, for in 
it were representatives of every one of the old 
slaveholding States. Its pastor was one of 
those who had not yet got beyond the belief 



that any temporal preparation for the preach- 
ing of the Gospel was unnecessary. It was 
still his firm trust, and often his boast, that if 
one opened his mouth the Lord would fill it, 
and it grew to be a settled idea that the Lord 
filled his acceptably, for his converts were 
many and his congregation increased. 

The Rev. Silas Todbury's education may 
have been deficient in other matters, but one 
thing he knew, and knew thoroughly — the dis- 
position of his people. He knew just what 
weaknesses, longings, and desires their recent 
bondage had left with them, and with admir- 
able shrewdness contrived to meet them. He 
knew that in preaching they wanted noise, 
emotion, and fire; that in the preacher they 
wanted free-heartedness and cordiality. He 
knew that when Christmas came they wanted 
a great rally, somewhat approaching, at least, 
the rousing times both spiritual and temporal 
that they had had back on the old plantation, 
when Christmas meant a week of pleasurable 
excitement. Knowing the last so well, it was 



with commendable foresight that he began 
early his preparations for a big time on a cer- 
tain Christmas not long ago. 

" I tell you people," he said to his congrega- 
tion, " we's goin' to have a regular l Benjamin's 
mess ' ! " 

The coloured folk, being not quite sure of 
the quotation, laughed heartily, exclaiming in 
admiration of their pastor, " Dat Todbu'y is 
sholy one mess hisse'f." 

" Now any of de sistahs dat's willin' to he'p 
mek dis comin' Chris'mus a real sho 'nough 
one, '11 'blige me by meetin' me in de basement 
of de chu'ch aftah services. De brothahs kin 
go 'long home 'twell dey called fu'." 

There was another outburst of merriment at 
this sally, and it was a good-natured score or 
more of sisters who a little later met the pastor 
as agreed. Among them was Martha Maria 
Mixon, for she was very close to her pastor, 
and for many a day had joyed his clerical 
heart with special dinners. 

"Ah," said the preacher, rubbing his hands, 



" Sistah Marthy, I see you's on han' ez usual 
to he'p me out, an' you, too, Sis Jinny, an' Sis 
Dicey," he added, quick to note the signs of 
any incipient jealousy, and equally ready to 
check it. " We's all hyeah, de faithful few, an' 
we's all ready fu' wo'k." 

The sisters beamed and nodded, 
"Well, we goin' to have some'p'n evah 
night, beginnin' wid Chris'mus night, 
straight on endurin' of de week, an' I want to 
separate you all into companies fu' to take 
chawge of each night. Now, I's a-goin' to 
have a powahful preachah f'om de Souf wid 
us, an' I want you all to show him what we kin 
do. On Chris'mus day we goin' to have a 
sermont at de chu'ch an' a festabal in de even- 
in' wid a Chris'mus tree. Sis' Marthy, I 
want you to boa'd de minister." 

" La, Brothah Todbu'y, I don't scarcely feel 
lak I's 'portant 'nough fu' dat," said Mrs. 
Mixon modestly, " but I'll do de bes' I kin. 
I hatter be lak de widder's mice in de scuse o' 



" We ain't got no doubt 'bout what you able 
to do, Sis Marthy," and the pastor passed to 
the appointment of his other committees. Af- 
ter evening services the brothers were simi- 
larly called in consultation and appointed to 
their respective duties. 

To the black people to whom these respon- 
sibilities were thus turned over, joy came, and 
with it the vision of other days — the vision of 
the dear old days, the hard old days back there 
in the South, when they had looked forward 
to their Christmas from year to year. Then 
it had been a time of sadness as well as of joy, 
for they knew that though the week was full 
of pleasure, after it was over must come sep- 
aration and sadness. For this was the time 
when those who were to be hired out, loaned, 
or given away, were to change their homes. 
So even while they danced they sighed, and 
while they shouted they moaned. Now 
there was no such repressing fact to daunt 
them. Christmas would come. They would 
enjoy themselves, and after it was over would 



go back to the same homes to live through the 
round of months in the midst of familiar faces 
and among their own old loved ones. The 
thought gave sweetness to their labour, and the 
responsibilities devolving upon them imbued 
the sacred holiday with a meaning and charm 
that it had never had before for them. They 
bubbled over with importance and with the 
glory of it. A sister and a brother could not 
meet without a friendly banter. 

"Hi, Sis' Dicey," Brother Williams would 
call out across the fence to his neighbour, " I 
don' believe you doin' anything to'ds dat 
Chris'mus celebration. Evah time I sees 
you, you's in de washtub tryin' to mek braid 
an' meat fo' dat no 'count man o' yo'n." 

Sister Dicey's laugh rang out loud and 
musical before she replied, " Nevah you min', 
Brothah Williams. I don' see yo' back 
bowed so much by de yoke." 

"Oh, honey, I's labo'in' even ef you do'n 
know it, but you'll see it on de day." 

" I 'low you labo'in' de mos' to git dat wife 


fc ' I don' see yo' back bowed so much by de yoke.' " 

Courtesy of <« The Delineator. " 


o' yo'n a new dress," and her tormentor's guf- 
faw seemed to admit some such benevolent 

In the corners of every house where the 
younger and more worldly-minded people 
congregated there was much whispering and 
giggling, for they had their own plans for 
Christmas outside of the church affair. 

" You goin' to give me de pleasure of yo' 
comp'ny to de dance aftah de festabal?" some 
ardent and early swain would murmur to his 
lady love, and the whisper would fly back in 
well-feigned affright, " Heish, man, you want 
to have Brothah Todbu'y chu'chin' me? " But 
if the swain persisted, there was little chance 
of his being ultimately refused. So the 
world, the flesh, and the devil kept pace with 
the things of the spirit in the great prepar- 

Meanwhile Martha Maria Mixon went 
her own way, working hard, fixing and ob- 
serving. She had determined to excel her- 
self this time, and not only should her part 



at the church be above reproach, but the en- 
tertainment which she would give that strange 
preacher would be a thing long to be remem- 
bered. And so, almost startled at all 
that Shiloh was preparing for his reception, 
hoary Christmas approached. 

All New York was a dazzling bazar 
through which the people thronged cease- 
lessly, tumultuously. Everyone was a child 
again; holly wreaths with the red berries 
gleaming amid the green were everywhere, 
and the white streets were gay with laughter 
and bustle and life. 

On the night before the great day Martha 
sat before her fire and hummed softly to her- 
self. There was a smile upon her face, for 
she had worked and worked well, and now 
all was ready and to her entire satisfaction. 
Something which shall be nameless simmered 
in a tin cup on the back of the stove before 
her, and every now and then she broke her 
reverie to sip of it. It smelled sweet and 
pungent and suspicious, but, then — this was 



Christmas Eve. She was half drowsing 
when a brisk knock startled her into wakeful- 
ness. Thinking it was one of the neighbours 
in for a call she bade the visitor enter, with- 
out moving. There was a stamping of feet, 
and the door opened and a black man covered 
with snow stood before her. He said noth- 
ing. Martha rubbed her eyes and stared at 
him, and then she looked at the cup accus- 
ingly, and from it back to the man. Then 
she rubbed her eyes again. 

"Wha — wha " she stammered, rising 


"Don' you know me, Marthy, don' you 
know me; an' don' you want to see yo' 

"Madison Mixon, is dat you in de flesh?" 

"It's me, Marthy; you tol' me ef evah I 
made a man o' myse'f, to seek you. It's been 
a long road, but I's tried faithful." 

All the memories of other days came rush- 
ing over Martha in an overwhelming flood. 
In one moment everything was forgotten save 



that here stood her long delinquent husband. 
She threw out her arms and took a step to- 
ward him, but he anticipated her further 
advance and rushing to her clasped her ample 
form in a close embrace. 

"You will tek me back!" he cried, "you 
will fu'give me!" 

"Yes, yes, of co'se, I will, Madison, ef you 
has made a man of yo'se'f." 

" I hopes to prove dat to you." 

It was a very pleasant evening that they 
spent together, and like old times to Martha. 
Never once did it occur to her that this sudden 
finding of a husband might be awkward on 
the morrow when the visitor came to dinner. 
Nor did she once suspect that Madison might 
be up to one of his old tricks. She accepted 
him for just what he said he was and intended 
to be. 

Her first doubt came the next morning 
when she began to hurry her preparations for 
church. Madison had been fumbling in his 
carpet bag and was already respectably 



dressed. His wife looked at him approv- 
ingly, but the glance turned to one of con- 
sternation when he stammered forth that he 
had to go out, as he had some business to 
attend to. 

" What, on de ve'y fust day you hyeah, ain't 
you goin' to chu'ch wid me?" 

" De business is mighty pressin', but I hopes 
to see you at chu'ch by de time de services 
begin. Waih does you set?" His hand was 
on the door. 

Martha sank into a chair and the tears came 
to her eyes, but she choked them back. She 
would not let him see how much she was hurt. 
She told him in a faltering voice where she 
sat, and he passed out. Then her tears came 
and flooded away the last hope. She had 
been so proud to think that she would walk to 
church with her husband that morning for the 
first time in so long a while, and now it was 
all over. For a little while she thought that 
she would not go, and then the memory of all 
the preparations she had made and of the 



new minister came to her, and she went on 
with her dressing. 

The church was crowded that morning 
when Martha arrived. She looked around 
in vain for some sight of Madison, but she 
could see nothing of him, and so she sank into 
her seat with a sigh. She could just see the 
new minister drooping in his seat behind the 
reading desk. He was evidently deep in 
meditation, for he did not get up during the 

Then Martha heard the Rev. Silas Tod- 
bury speaking. His words did not affect her 
until she found that the whole of his closing 
sentence was flashing through her brain like 
a flame. "We will now be exho'ted by de 
Reverent Madison Mixon." 

She couldn't believe her ears, but stared 
wildly at the pulpit where the new preacher 
stood. It was Madison. Her first impulse 
was to rise in her seat and stop him. It was 
another of his tricks, and he should not pro- 
fane the church. But his look and voice 



silenced her and she sank back in amaze- 

He preached a powerful sermon, and at its 
close told something of his life and who he 
was, and Martha found herself all at once the 
centre of attention; and her face glowed and 
her heart burned within her as the people 
about her nodded and smiled at her through 
their tears, and hurled "Amen" upon 

Madison hurried to her side after the serv- 
ices. " I des wanted to s'prise you a little, 
Marthy," he said. 

She was too happy to answer and, pressing 
his arm very tightly, she walked out among 
her congratulating friends, and between her 
husband and the Rev. Silas Todbury went 
proudly home to her Christmas dinner. 





IT took something just short of a revo- 
lution to wake up the sleepy little town 
of Miltonville. Through the slow, hot 
days it drowsed along like a lazy dog, only 
half rousing now and then to snap at some fly- 
ing rumour, and relapsing at once into its 
pristine somnolence. 

It was not a dreamless sleep, however, that 
held the town in chains. It had its dreams 
— dreams of greatness, of wealth, of conse- 
quence and of growth. Granted that there 
was no effort to realise these visions, they were 
yet there, and, combined with the memory of 
a past that was not without credit, w r ent far to 
give tone to its dormant spirit. 

It was a real spirit, too ; the gallant Bourbon 
spirit of the old South; of Kentucky when 



she is most the daughter of Virginia, as was 
evidenced in the awed respect which all Mil- 
tonvillians, white and black alike, showed to 
Major Richardson in his house on the hill. 
He was part of the traditions of the place. It 
was shown in the conservatism of the old white 
families, and a certain stalwart if reflected 
self-respect in the older coloured inhabitants. 

In all the days since the school had been 
/founded and Mr. Dunkin's marriage to the 
teacher had raised a brief ripple of excite- 
ment, these coloured people had slumbered. 
They were still slumbering that hot August 
day, unmindful of the sensation that lay at 
their very doors, heedless of the portents that 
said as plain as preaching, " Miltonville, the 
time is at hand, awake!" 

So it was that that afternoon there were 
only a few loungers, and these not very alert, 
about the station when the little train wheezed 
and puffed its way into it. It had been so 
long since anyone save those whom they knew 
had alighted at Miltonville that the loungers 



had lost faith, and with it curiosity, and now 
they scarcely changed their positions as the 
little engine stopped with a snort of disgust. 
But in an instant indifference had fled as the 
mist before the sun, and every eye on the plat- 
form was staring and white. It is the unex- 
pected that always happens, and yet humanity 
never gets accustomed to it. The loafers, 
white and black, had assumed a sitting pos- 
ture, and then they had stood up. For from 
the cars there had alighted the wonder of a 
stranger — a Negro stranger, gorgeous of per- 
son and attire. He was dressed in a suit of 
black cloth. A long coat was buttoned close 
around his tall and robust form. He was 
dead black, from his shiny top hat to his not 
less shiny boots, and about him there was the 
indefinable air of distinction. He stood 
looking about the platform for a moment, and 
then stepped briskly and decisively toward 
the group that was staring at him with wide 
eyes. There was no hesitation in that step. 
He walked as a man walks who is not in the 



habit of being stopped, who has not known 
what it is to be told, " Thus far shalt thou go 
and no further." 

" Can you tell me where I can find the resi- 
dence of Mr. Isaac Jackson?" he asked 
sonorously as he reached the stupefied loun- 
gers. His voice was deep and clear. 

Someone woke from his astonishment and 
offered to lead him thither, and together the 
two started for their destination, the stranger 
keeping up a running fire of comment on the 
way. Had his companion been a close ob- 
server and known anything about the matter, 
he would have found the newcomer's English 
painfully, unforgivably correct. A language 
should be like an easy shoe on a flexible foot, 
but to one unused to it, it proves rather a splint 
on a broken limb. The stranger stalked about 
in conversational splints until they arrived at 
Isaac Jackson's door. Then giving his guide 
a dime, he dismissed him with a courtly bow, 
and knocked. 

It was a good thing that Martha Ann Jack- 



son had the innate politeness of her race well 
to the fore when she opened the door upon 
the radiant creature, or she would have given 
voice to the words that were in her heart: 
"Good Lawd, what is dis?" 

" Is this the residence of Mr. Isaac Jack- 
son?" in the stranger's suavest voice. 

" Yes, suh, he live hyeah." 

"May I see him? I desire to see him 
upon some business." He handed her his 
card, which she carefully turned upside down, 
glanced at without understanding, and put in 
her apron pocket as she replied: 

"He ain't in jes' now, but ef you'll step in 
an' wait, I'll sen' one o' de chillen aftah him." 

" I thank you, madam, I thank you. I will 
come in and rest from the fatigue of my jour- 
ney. I have travelled a long way, and rest 
in such a pleasant and commodious abode as 
your own appears to be will prove very grate- 
ful to me." 

She had been half afraid to invite this re- 
splendent figure into her humble house, but 



she felt distinctly flattered at his allusion to 
the home which she had helped Isaac to buy, 
and by the alacrity with which the stranger 
accepted her invitation. 

She ushered him into the front room, 
mentally thanking her stars that she had 
forced the reluctant Isaac to buy a bright new 
carpet a couple of months before. 

A child was despatched to find and bring 
home the father, while Martha Ann, hastily 
slipping out of her work-dress and into a 
starched calico, came in to keep her visitor 

His name proved to be Scatters, and he 
was a most entertaining and ingratiating 
man. It was evident that he had some im- 
portant business with Isaac Jackson, but that 
it was mysterious was shown by the guarded 
way in which he occasionally hinted at it as 
he tapped the valise he carried and nodded 

Time had never been when Martha Ann 
Jackson was so flustered. She was charmed 



and frightened and flattered. She could 
only leave Mr. Scatters long enough to give 
orders to her daughter, Lucy, to prepare such 
a supper as that household had never seen 
before; then she returned to sit again at his 
feet and listen to his words of wisdom. 

The supper progressed apace, and the 
savour of it was already in the stranger's 
nostrils. Upon this he grew eloquent and 
was about to divulge his secret to the hungry- 
eyed woman when the trampling of Isaac's 
boots upon the walk told him that he had only 
a little while longer to contain himself, and at 
the same time to wait for the fragrant supper. 

Now, it is seldom that a man is so well im- 
pressed with a smooth-tongued stranger as is 
his wife. Usually his hard-headedness puts 
him on the defensive against the blandish- 
ments of the man who has won his better half's 
favour, and, however honest the semi-fortu- 
nate individual may be, he despises him for his 
attainments. But it was not so in this case. 
Isaac had hardly entered the house and re- 



ceived his visitor's warm handclasp before he 
had become captive to his charm. Business, 
business — no, his guest had been travelling 
and he must be both tired and hungry. Isaac 
would hear of no business until they had eaten. 
Then, over a pipe, if the gentleman smoked, 
they might talk at their ease. 

Mr. Scatters demurred, but in fact nothing 
could have pleased him better, and the open 
smile with which he dropped into his place 
at the table was very genuine and heartfelt. 
Genuine, too, were his praises of Lucy's cook- 
ing; of her flaky buscuits and mealy potatoes. 
He was pleased all through and he did not 
hesitate to say so. 

It was a beaming group that finally rose 
heavily laden from the supper table. 

Over a social pipe a little later, Isaac Jack- 
son heard the story that made his eyes bulge 
with interest and his heart throb with eager- 

Mr. Scatters began, tapping his host's 

breast and looking at him fixedly, "You had 



a brother some years ago named John." It 
was more like an accusation than a ques- 

" Yes, suh, I had a brothah John." 

" Uh, huh, and that brother migrated to the 
West Indies." 

" Yes, suh, he went out to some o' dem out- 
landish places." 

" Hold on, sir, hold on, I am a West Indian 

" I do' mean no erfence, 'ceptin' dat John 
alius was of a rovin' dispersition." 

" Very well, you know no more about your 
brother after his departure for the West 

" No, suh." 

" Well, it is my mission to tell you the rest 
of the story. Your brother John landed at 
Cuba, and after working about some years 
and living frugally, he went into the coffee 
business, in which he became rich." 


" Rich, sir." 



" Why, bless my soul, who'd 'a evah thought 
that of John? Why, suh, I'm sho'ly proud 
to hyeah it. Why don't he come home an' 

visit a body? " 

"Ah, why?" said Mr. Scatters dramat- 
ically. "Now comes the most painful part 
of my mission. ' In the midst of life we are 
in death.' " Mr. Scatters sighed, Isaac 
sighed and wiped his eyes. " Two years ago 
your brother departed this life." 

"Was he saved?" Isaac asked in a choked 
voice. Scatters gave him one startled glance, 
and then answered hastily, " I am happy to 
say that he was." 

" Poor John! He gone an' me lef." 

"Even in the midst of our sorrows, how- 
ever, there is always a ray of light. Your 
brother remembered you in his will." 

"Remembered me?" 

" Remembered you, and as one of the ex- 
ecutors of his estate," — Mr. Scatters rose and 
went softly over to his valise, from which he 
took a large square package. He came back 



with it, holding it as if it were something 
sacred, — " as one of the executors of his 
estate, which is now settled, I was commis- 
sioned to bring you this." He tapped the 
package. "This package, sealed as you see 
with the seal of Cuba, contains five thousand 
dollars in notes and bonds." 

Isaac gasped and reached for the bundle, 
but it was withdrawn. " I am, however, not 
to deliver it to you yet. There are certain for- 
malities which my country demands to be 
gone through with, after which I deliver my 
message and return to the fairest of lands, to 
the Gem of the Antilles. Let me congratu- 
late you, Mr. Jackson, upon your good 

Isaac yielded up his hand mechanically. 
He was dazed by the vision of this sudden 

" Fi' thousan' dollahs," he repeated. 

"Yes, sir, five thousand dollars. It is a 
goodly sum, and in the meantime, until court 
convenes, I wish you to recommend some safe 



place in which to put this money, as I do not 
feel secure with it about my person, nor would 
it be secure if it were known to be in your 

" I reckon Albert Matthews' grocery would 
be the safes' place fu' it. He's got one o' 
dem i'on saftes." 

" The very place. Let us go there at once, 
and after that I will not encroach upon your 
hospitality longer, but attempt to find a 

" Hotel nothin'," said Isaac emphatically. 
"Ef my house ain't too common, you'll stay 
right thaih ontwell co't sets." 

" This is very kind of you, Mr. Jackson, but 
really I couldn't think of being such a charge 
upon you and your good wife." 

"'Tain't no charge on us; we'll be glad to 
have you. Folks hyeah in Miltonville has 
little enough comp'ny, de Lawd knows." 

Isaac spoke the truth, and it was as much 
the knowledge that he would be the envy of 
all the town as his gratitude to Scatters that 



prompted him to prevail upon his visitor to 

Scatters was finally persuaded, and the men 
only paused long enough in the house to tell 
the curiosity-eaten Martha Ann the news, and 
then started for Albert Matthews' store. Scat- 
ters carried the precious package, and Isaac 
was armed with an old shotgun lest anyone 
should suspect their treasure and attack them. 
Five thousand dollars was not to be carelessly 

As soon as the men were gone, Martha Ann 
started out upon her rounds, and her proud 
tongue did for the women portion of Milton- 
ville what the visit to Matthews' store did for 
the men. Did Mrs. So-and-So remember 
brother John? Indeed she did. And when 
the story was told, it was a "Well, well, well! 
he used to be an ol' beau o' mine." Martha 
Ann found no less than twenty women of her 
acquaintance for whom her brother John 
seemed to have entertained tender feelings. 

The corner grocery store kept by Albert 



Matthews was the general gathering-place for 
the coloured male population of the town. It 
was a small, one-roomed building, almost filled 
with barrels, boxes, and casks. 

Pride as well as necessity had prompted 
Isaac to go to the grocery just at this time, 
when it would be quite the fullest of men. 
He had not calculated wrongly when he 
reckoned upon the sensation that would be 
made by his entrance with the distinguished- 
looking stranger. The excitement was all 
the most hungry could have wished for. The 
men stared at Jackson and his companion with 
wide-open eyes. They left off chewing to- 
bacco and telling tales. A half-dozen of them 
forgot to avail themselves of the joy of spit- 
ting, and Albert Matthews, the proprietor, a 
weazened little brown-skinned man, forgot to 
lay his hand upon the scale in weighing out 
a pound of sugar. 

With a humility that was false on the very 
face of it, Isaac introduced his guest to the 
grocer and the three went off together mys- 



teriously into a corner. The matter was duly 
explained and the object of the visit told. 
Matthews burned with envy, of his neigh- 
bour's good fortune. 

" I do' reckon, Mistah Scatters, dat we bet- 
tah let de othah folks in de sto' know any- 
thing 'bout dis hyeah bus'ness of ouahs. I got 
to be 'sponsible fu dat money, an' I doesn't 
want to tek no chances." 

"You are perfectly right, sir, perfectly 
right. You are responsible, not only for the 
money itself, but for the integrity of this seal 
which means the dignity of government." 

Matthews looked sufficiently impressed, 
and together they all went their way among 
the barrels and boxes to the corner where the 
little safe stood. With many turnings and 
twistings the door was opened, the package in- 
closed and the safe shut again. Then they 
all rose solemnly and went behind the counter 
to sample something that Matthews had. 
This was necessary as a climax, for they had 
performed, not a mere deed, but a ceremonial. 



"Of course, you'll say nothing about this 
matter at all, Mr. Matthews," said Scatters, 
thereby insuring publicity to his affair. 

There were a few introductions as the men 
passed out, but hardly had their backs turned 
when a perfect storm of comment and inquiry 
broke about the grocer's head. So it came 
to pass, that with many mysterious nods and 
headshakings, Matthews first hinted at and 
then told the story. 

For the first few minutes the men could 
scarcely believe what they had heard. It 
was so utterly unprecedented. Then it 
dawned upon them that it might be so, and 
discussion and argument ran rife for the next 

The story flew like wildfire, there being 
three things in this world which interest all 
sorts and conditions of men alike: great 
wealth, great beauty, and great love. When- 
ever Mr. Scatters appeared he was greeted 
with deference and admiration. Any man 

who had come clear from Cuba on such an 



errand to their fellow-townsman deserved all 
honour and respect. His charming manners 
confirmed, too, all that preconceived notions 
had said of him. He became a social favour- 
ite. It began with Mr. and Mrs. Dunkin's 
calling upon him. Then followed Alonzo 
Taft, and when the former two gave a recep- 
tion for the visitor, his position was assured. 
Miltonville had not yet arisen to the dignity 
of having a literary society. He now founded 
one and opened it himself with an address so 
beautiful, so eloquent and moving that Mr. 
Dunkin bobbed his head dizzy in acquies- 
cence, and Aunt Hannah Payne thought she 
was in church and shouted for joy. 

The little town had awakened from its 
long post-bellum slumber and accepted with 
eagerness the upward impulse given it. It 
stood aside and looked on with something like 
adoration when Mr. Scatters and Mrs. Dun- 
kin met and talked of ineffable things — 
things far above the ken of the average 



When Mr. Scatters found that his mission 
was known, he gave up further attempts at 
concealing it and talked freely about the mat- 
ter. He expatiated at length upon the re- 
sponsibility that devolved upon him and his 
desire to discharge it, and he spoke glowingly 
of the great government whose power was rep- 
resented by the seal which held the package 
of bonds. Not for one day would he stay 
away from his beloved Cuba, if it were not 
that that seal had to be broken in the presence 
of the proper authorities. So, however re- 
luctant he might be to stay, it was not for him 
to shirk his task: he must wait for the sitting 
of court. 

Meanwhile the Jacksons lived in an atmos- 
phere of glory. The womenfolk purchased 
new dresses, and Isaac got a new wagon on the 
strength of their good fortune. It was noth- 
ing to what they dreamed of doing when they 
had the money positively in hand. Mr. Scat- 
ters still remained their guest, and they were 
proud of it. 



What pleased them most was that their dis- 
tinguished visitor seemed not to look down 
upon, but rather to be pleased with, their 
homely fare. Isaac had further cause for 
pleasure when his guest came to him later 
with a great show of frank confidence to re- 
quest the loan of fifty dollars. 

"I should not think of asking even this 
small favour of you but that I have only Cuban 
money with me and I knew you would feel 
distressed if you knew that I went to the 
trouble of sending this money away for ex- 
change on account of so small a sum." 

This was undoubtedly a mark of special 
confidence. It suddenly made Isaac feel as 
if the grand creature had accepted and 
labelled him as a brother and an equal. He 
hastened to Matthews' safe, where he kept his 
own earnings; for the grocer was banker as 

With reverent hands they put aside the 
package of bonds and together counted out 
the required half a hundred dollars. In a 



little while Mr. Scatters long, graceful 
ringers had closed over it. 

Mr. Jackson's cup of joy was now full. It 
had but one bitter drop to mar its sweetness. 
That was the friendship that had sprung up 
between the Cuban and Mr. Dunkin. They 
frequently exchanged visits, and sat long 
together engaged in conversation from which 
Isaac was excluded. This galled him. He 
felt that he had a sort of proprietary interest 
in his guest. And any infringement of this 
property right he looked upon with distinct 
disfavour. So that it was with no pleasant 
countenance that he greeted Mr. Dunkin 
when he called on a certain night. 

" Mr. Scatters is gone out," he said, as the 
old man entered and deposited his hat on the 

"Dat's all right, Isaac," said Mr. Dunkin 
slowly, " I didn't come to see de gent'man. I 
come to see you." 

The cloud somewhat lifted from Isaac's 
brow. Mr. Dunkin was a man of importance 



and it made a deal of difference whom he was 

He seemed a little bit embarrassed, how- 
ever, as to how to open conversation. He 
hummed and hawed and was visibly uneasy, 
He tried to descant upon the weather, but the 
subject failed him. Finally, with an effort, 
he hitched his chair nearer to his host's and 
said in a low voice, " Ike, I reckon you has de 
confidence of Mistah Scatters?" 

" I has," was the proud reply, " I has." 

"Hum! uh! huh! Well — well — has you 
evah loant him any money?" 

Isaac was aghast. Such impertinence! 

"Mistah Dunkin," he began, "I con- 
sidah " 

" HoP on, Ike! " broke in Dunkin, laying a 
soothing hand on the other's knee, " don' git 
on yo' high hoss. Dis hyeah's a important 

" I ain't got nothin' to say." 

" He ain't never toP you 'bout havin' nothin' 
but Cubian money on him?" 



Isaac started. 

"I see he have. He tol' me de same 

The two men sat staring suspiciously into 
each other's faces. 

" He got a hun'ed an' fifty dollahs f'om 
me," said Dunkin. 

"I let him have fifty," added Jackson 

" He got a hun'ed an' fifty dollahs f 'om 
thews. Dat's how I come to git 'spicious. He 
tol' him de same sto'y." 

Again that pregnant look flashed between 
them, and they both rose and went out of the 

They hurried down to Matthews' grocery. 
The owner was waiting for them there. There 
was solemnity, but no hesitation, in the man- 
ner with which they now went to the safe. 
They took out the package hastily and with 
ruthless hands. This was no ceremonial now. 
The seal had no longer any fears for them. 
They tore it off. They tore the wrappers. 



Then paper. Neatly folded paper. More 
wrapping paper. Newspapers. Nothing 
more. Of bills or bonds — nothing. With 
the debris of the mysterious parcel scattered 
about their feet, they stood up and looked at 
each other. 

" I nevah did believe in furriners nohow," 
said Mr. Dunkin sadly. 

" But he knowed all about by brothah 

"An' he sho'ly did make mighty fine 
speeches. Maybe we's missed de money." 
This from the grocer. 

Together they went over the papers again, 
with the same result. 

" Do you know where he went to-night, 

" No." 

" Den I reckon we's seed de las' o' him." 

" But he lef his valise." 

"Yes, an' he lef dis," said Dunkin sternly, 
pointing to the paper on the floor. " He sho'ly 
is mighty keerless of his valybles." 



" Let's go git de constable," said the prac- 
tical Matthews. 

They did, though they felt that it would be 

The constable came and waited at Jackson's 
house. They had been there about half an 
hour, talking the matter over, when what was 
their surprise to hear Mr. Scatters' step com- 
ing jauntily up the walk. A sudden panic of 
terror and shame seized them. It was as if 
they had wronged him. Suppose, after all, 
everything should come right and he should 
be able to explain? They sat and trembled 
until he entered. Then the constable told 
him his mission. 

Mr. Scatters was surprised. He was hurt. 
Indeed, he was distinctly grieved that his 
friends had had so little confidence in him. 
Had he been to them anything but a gentle- 
man, a friend, and an honest man? Had he 
not come a long distance from his home to 
do one of them a favour? They hung their 
heads. Martha Ann, who was listening at 

1 76 ] 


the door, was sobbing audibly. What had 
he done thus to be humiliated? He saw the 
effect of his words and pursued it. Had he 
not left in the care of one of their own num- 
ber security for his integrity in the shape of 
the bonds? 

The G&ect of his words was magical. Every 
head went up and three pairs of flashing eyes 
were bent upon him. He saw and knew that 
they knew. He had not thought that they 
would dare to violate the seal around which 
he had woven such a halo. He saw that all 
was over, and, throwing up his hands with 
a despairing gesture, he bowed graciously 
and left the room with the constable. 

All Miltonville had the story next day, and 
waited no less eagerly than before for the 
"settin' of co't." 

To the anger and chagrin of Miltonvillians, 
Fox Run had the honour and distinction of 
being the county seat, and thither they must 
go to the sessions; but never did they so forget 
their animosities as on the day set for the 



trial of Scatters. They overlooked the pride 
of the Fox Runners, their cupidity and their 
vaunting arrogance. They ignored the indig- 
nity of showing interest in anything that took 
place in that village, and went in force, eager, 
anxious, and curious. Ahorse, afoot, by ox- 
cart, by mule-wagon, white, black, high, low, 
old, and young of both sexes invaded Fox Run 
and swelled the crowd of onlookers until, with 
pity for the very anxiety of the people, the 
humane judge decided to discard the now in- 
adequate court-room and hold the sessions on 
the village green. Here an impromptu bar 
was set up, and over against it were ranged 
the benches, chairs, and camp-stools of the 

Every man of prominence in the county 
was present. Major Richardson, though now 
retired, occupied a distinguished position 
within the bar. Old Captain Howard shook 
hands familiarly with the judge and nodded 
to the assembly as though he himself had 
invited them all to be present. Former 



Judge Durbin sat with his successor on the 

Court opened and the first case was called. 
It gained but passing attention. There was 
bigger game to be stalked. A hog-stealing 
case fared a little better on account of the 
intimateness of the crime involved. But 
nothing was received with such awed silence 
as the case of the State against Joseph Scat- 
ters. The charge was obtaining money under 
false pretences, and the plea " Not Guilty." 

The witnesses were called and their testi- 
mony taken. Mr. Scatters was called to tes- 
tify in his own defence, but refused to do so. 
The prosecution stated its case and proceeded 
to sum up the depositions of the witnesses. 
As there was no attorney for the defence, 
the State's attorney delivered a short speech, 
in which the guilt of the defendant was plainly 
set forth. It was as clear as day. Things 
looked very dark for Mr. Scatters of Cuba. 

As the lawyer sat down, and ere the case 
could be given to the jury, he rose and 



asked permission of the Court to say a few 

This was granted him. 

He stood up among them, a magnificent, 
strong, black figure. His eyes swept the as- 
sembly, judge, jury, and spectators with a look 
half amusement, half defiance. 

" I have pleaded not guilty," he began in a 
low, distinct voice that could be heard in 
every part of the inclosure, " and I am not 
guilty of the spirit which is charged against 
me, however near the letter may touch me. I 
did use certain knowledge that I possessed, 
and the seal which I happened to have from 
an old government position, to defraud — that 
is the word, if you will — to defraud these men 
out of the price of their vanity and their 
cupidity. But it was not a long-premeditated 
thing. I was within a few miles of your town 
before the idea occurred to me. I was in 
straits. I stepped from the brink of great 
poverty into the midst of what you are pleased 
to deem a greater crime." 



The Court held its breath. No such audac- 
ity had ever been witnessed in the life of Fox 

Scatters went on, warming to his subject as 
he progressed. He was eloguent and he was 
pleasing. A smile flickered over the face of 
Major Richardson and was reflected in the 
features of many others as the speaker burst 

" Gentlemen, I maintain that instead of im- 
prisoning you should thank me for what I 
have done. Have I not taught your commu- 
nity a lesson? Have I not put a check upon 
their credulity and made them wary of un- 
heralded strangers?" 

He had. There was no disputing that. The 
judge himself was smiling, and the jurymen 
were nodding at each other. 

Scatters had not yet played his trump card. 
He saw that the time was ripe. Straightening 
his form and raising his great voice, he cried : 
" Gentlemen, I am guilty according to the let- 
ter of the law, but from that I appeal to the 



men who make and have made the law. From 
the hard detail of this new day, I appeal to the 
chivalry of the old South which has been told 
in story and sung in song. From men of vin- 
dictiveness I appeal to men of mercy. From 
plebeians to aristocrats. By the memory of 
the sacred names of the Richardsons" — the 
Major sat bolt upright and dropped his snuff- 
box — "the Durbins" — the ex-judge couldn't 
for his life get his pince-nez on — " the How- 
ards" — the captain openly rubbed his hands 
— " to the memory that those names call up I 
appeal, and to the living and honourable bear- 
ers of them present. And to you, gentlemen 
of the jury, the lives of whose fathers went to 
purchase this dark and bloody ground, I ap- 
peal from the accusation of these men, who 
are not my victims, not my dupes, but their 

There was a hush when he was done. The 
judge read the charge to the jury, and it was 
favourable — very. And — well, Scatters had 

taught the darkies a lesson ; he had spoken of 



their families and their traditions, he knew 
their names, and — oh, well, he was a good 
fellow after all — what was the use? 

The jury did not leave their seats, and the 
verdict was acquittal. 

Scatters thanked the Court and started 
away; but he met three ominous-looking pairs 
of eyes, and a crowd composed of angry 
Negroes was flocking toward the edge of the 

He came back. 

" I think I had better wait until the excite- 
ment subsides," he said to Major Richardson. 

"No need of that, suh, no need of that. 
Here, Jim," he called to his coachman, "take 
Mr. Scatters wherever he wants to go, and re- 
member, I shall hold you responsible for his 

"Yes, suh," said Jim. 

"A thousand thanks, Major," said the man 
with the mission. 

"Not at all, suh. By the way, that was a 
very fine effort of yours this afternoon. I was 



greatly moved by it. If you'll give me your 
address I'll send you a history of our family, 
suh, from the time they left Vuhginia and be- 

Mr. Scatters gave Kim the address, and 
smiled at the three enemies, who still waited 
on the edge of the green. 

"To the station," he said to the driver. 




THERE was great excitement in Mil- 
tonville over the advent of a most 
eloquent and convincing minister 
from the North. The beauty about the Rev. 
Thaddeus Warwick was that he was purely 
and simply a man of the doctrine. He had no 
emotions, his sermons were never matters of 
feeling; but he insisted so strongly upon the 
constant presentation of the tenets of his creed 
that his presence in a town was always marked 
by the enthusiasm and joy of religious dispu- 

The Rev. Jasper Hayward, coloured, was a 
man quite of another stripe. With him it was 
not so much what a man held as what he felt. 
The difference in their characteristics, how- 
ever, did not prevent him from attending Dr. 
Warwick's series of sermons, where, from the 
vantage point of the gallery, he drank in, with- 



out assimilating, that divine's words of wis- 

Especially was he edified on the night that 
his white brother held forth upon the doctrine 
of predestination. It was not that he under- 
stood it at all, but that it sounded well and the 
words had a rich ring as he champed over 
them again and again. 

Mr. Hayward was a man for the time and 
knew that his congregation desired something 
new, and if he could supply it he was willing 
to take lessons even from a white co-worker 
who had neither " de spirit ner de fiah." Be- 
cause, as he was prone to admit to himself, 
" dey was sump'in' in de unnerstanninV 

He had no idea what plagiarism is, and 
without a single thought of wrong, he in- 
tended to reproduce for his people the relig- 
ious wisdom which he acquired at the white 
church. He was an innocent beggar going 
to the doors of the well-provided for cold spir- 
itual victuals to warm over for his own fam- 
ily. And it would not be plagiarism either, 



for this very warming-over process would 
save it from that and make his own whatever 
he brought. He would season with the pep- 
per of his homely wit, sprinkle it with the salt 
of his home-made philosophy, then, hot with 
the fire of his crude eloquence, serve to his 
people a dish his very own. But to the true 
purveyor of original dishes it is never pleas- 
ant to know that someone else holds the secret 
of the groundwork of his invention. 

It was then something of a shock to the 
Reverend Mr. Hayward to be accosted by 
Isaac Middleton, one of his members, just as 
he was leaving the gallery on the night of this 
most edifying of sermons. 

Isaac laid a hand upon his shoulder and 
smiled at him benevolently. 

" How do, Brothah Hayward," he said, 
" you been sittin' unner de drippin's of de gos- 
pel, too?" 

" Yes, I has been listenin' to de wo'ds of my 
fellow-laborah in de vineya'd of de Lawd," 
replied the preacher with some dignity, for he 



saw vanishing the vision of his own glory in a 
revivified sermon on predestination. 

Isaac linked his arm familiarly in his pas- 
tor's as they went out upon the street. 

"Well, what you t'ink erbout pre-o'dina- 
tion an' fo'-destination any how?" 

" It sutny has been pussented to us in a 
powahful light dis eve'nin'." 

" Well, suh, hit opened up my eyes. I do' 
know when I's hyeahed a sehmon dat done 
my soul mo' good." 

" It was a upliftin' episode." 

" Seem lak 'co'din' to de way de brothah 
'lucidated de matter to-night dat evaht'ing 
done sot out an' cut an' dried fu' us. Well 
dat's gwine to he'p me lots." 

" De gospel is alius a he'p." 

" But not alius in dis way. You see I ain't 
a eddicated man lak you, Brothah Hayward." 

"We can't all have de same Vantages," the 
preacher condescended. " But what I feels, 
I feels, an' what I unnerstan's, I unnerstan's. 
The Scripture tell us to get unnerstanninV 


.1 ^ 


" Well, dat's what I's been a-doin' to-night. 
I's been a-doubtin' an' a-doubtin', a-foolin' 
erroun' an' wonderin', but now I unner- 

"'Splain yo'se'f, Brothah Middleton," said 
the preacher. 

" Well, suh, I will to you. You knows Miss 
Sally Briggs? Huh, what say?" 

The Reverend Hayward had given a half 
discernible start and an exclamation had 
fallen from his lips. 

"What say?" repeated his companion. 

" I knows de sistah ve'y well, she bein' a 
membah of my flock." 

"Well, I been gwine in comp'ny wit dat 
ooman fu' de longes.' You ain't nevah tasted 
none o' huh cookin', has you? " 

" I has 'sperienced de sistah's puffo'mances 
in dat line." 

" She is the cookin'est ooman I evah seed in 
all my life, but howsomedever, I been gwine 
all dis time an' I ain' nevah said de wo'd. I 
nevah could git clean erway f'om huh widout 



somep'n' drawin' me back, an' I didn't know 
what hit was." 

The preacher was restless. 

" Hit was des dis away, Brothah Hayward, 
I was alius lingerin' on de brink, feahful to 
la'nch away, but now I's a-gwine to la'nch, 
case dat all dis time tain't been nuffin but fo'- 
destination dat been a-holdin' me on." 

"Ahem," said the minister; "we mus' not 
be in too big a hu'y to put ouah human weak- 
nesses upon some divine cause." 

" I ain't a-doin' dat, dough I ain't a-sputin' 
dat de lady is a mos' oncommon fine lookin' 

" I has only seed huh wid de eye of 3e 
spi'it," was the virtuous answer, " an' to dat 
eye all t'ings dat are good are beautiful." 

"Yes, suh, an' lookin' wid de cookin' eye, 
hit seem lak' I des fo'destinated fu' to ma'y 
dat ooman." 

"You say you ain't axe huh yit?" 

"Not yit, but I's gwine to ez soon ez evali 
I gets de chanst now." 



" Uh, huh," said the preacher, and he began 
to hasten his steps homeward. 

" Seems lak you in a pow'ful hu'y to-night," 
said his companion, with some difficulty ac- 
commodating his own step to the preacher's 
masterly strides. He was a short man and his 
pastor was tall and gaunt. 

"I has somp'n' on my min,' Brothah Mid- 
dleton, dat I wants to thrash out to-night in de 
sollertude of my own chambah," was the 
solemn reply. 

"Well, I am' gwine keep erlong wid you 
an' pestah you wid my chattah, Brothah Hay- 
ward," and at the next corner Isaac Middle- 
ton turned off and went his way, with a cheery 
" so long, may de Lawd set wid you in yo' 

11 So long," said his pastor hastily. Then he 
did what would be strange in any man, but 
seemed stranger in so virtuous a minister. He 
checked his hasty pace, and, after furtively 
watching Middleton out of sight, turned and 
retraced his steps in a direction exactly oppo- 



site to the one in which he had been going, and 
toward the cottage of the very Sister Griggs 
concerning whose charms the minister's par- 
ishioner had held forth. 

It was late, but the pastor knew that the 
woman whom he sought was industrious and 
often worked late, and with ever increasing 
eagerness he hurried on. He was fully re- 
warded for his perseverance when the light 
from the window of his intended hostess 
gleamed upon him, and when she stood in the 
full glow of it as the door opened in answer 
to his knock. 

"La, Brothah Hayward, ef it ain't you; 
howdy; come in." 

" Howdy, howdy, Sistah Griggs, how you 
come on?" 

" Oh, I's des tol'able," industriously dusting 
a chair. " How's yo'se'f?" 

" I's right smaht, thankee ma'am." 

"W'y, Brothah Hayward, ain't you los' 
down in dis paht of de town? " 

"No, indeed, Sistah Griggs, de shep'erd 



ain't nevah los' no whaih dey's any of de 
flock." Then looking around the room at 
the piles of ironed clothes, he added: "You 
sutny is a industrious ooman." 

" I was des 'bout finishin' up some i'onin' I 
had fu' de white folks," smiled Sister Griggs, 
taking down her ironing-board and resting it 
in the corner. "Alius when I gits thoo my 
wo'k at nights I's putty well tiahed out an' 
has to eat a snack; set by, Brothah Hayward, 
while I fixes us a bite." 

" La, sisteh, hit don't skacely seem right fu' 
me to be a-comin' in hyeah lettin' you fix fu' 
me at dis time o' night, an' you mighty nigh 
tuckahed out, too." 

" Tsch, Brothah Hayward, taint no ha'dah 
lookin' out fu' two dan it is lookin' out fu' 

Hayward flashed a quick upward glance at 
his hostess' face and then repeated slowly, 
"Yes'm, dat sutny is de trufe. I ain't nevah 
t'ought o' that befo'. Hit ain't no ha'dah 
lookin' out fu' two dan hit is fu' one," and 



though he was usually an incessant talker, he 
lapsed into a brown study. 

Be it known that the Rev. Mr. Hayward 
was a man of a very level head, and that his 
bachelorhood was a matter of economy. He 
had long considered matrimony in the light 
of a most desirable estate, but one which he 
feared to embrace until the rewards for his 
labours began looking up a little better. But 
now the matter was being presented to him in 
an entirely different light. " Hit ain't no 
ha'dah lookin' out fu' two dan fu' one." 
Might that not be the truth after all. One 
had to have food. It would take very little 
more to do for two. One had to have a home 
to live in. The same house would shelter two. 
One had to wear clothes. Well, now, there 
came the rub. But he thought of donation 
parties, and smiled. Instead of being an ex- 
travagance, might not this union of two beings 
be an economy? Somebody to cook the food, 
somebody to keep the house, and somebody to 
mend the clothes. 



His reverie was broken in upon by Sally 
Griggs' voice. " Hit do seem lak you mighty 
deep in t'ought dis evenin', Brothah Hay- 
ward. I done spoke to you twicet." 

" Scuse me, Sistah Griggs, my min' has 
been mighty deeply 'sorbed in a little mattah 
o' doctrine. What you say to me? " 

u I say set up to the table an' have a bite to 
eat; tain't much, but c sicK ez I have' — you 
know what de 'postle said." 

The preacher's eyes glistened as they took 
in the well-filled board. There was fervour 
in the blessing which he asked that made 
amends for its brevity. Then he fell to. 

Isaac Middleton was right. This woman 
was a genius among cooks. Isaac Middleton 
was also wrong. He, a layman, had no right 
to raise his eyes to her. She was the prize of 
the elect, not the quarry of any chance pur- 
suer. As he ate and talked, his admiration 
for Sally grew as did his indignation at Mid- 
dleton's presumption. 

Meanwhile the fair one plied him with 



delicacies, and paid deferential attention 
whenever he opened his mouth to give vent 
to an opinion. An admirable wife she would 
make, indeed. 

At last supper was over and his chair 
pushed back from the table. With a long 
sigh of content, he stretched his long legs, 
tilted back and said : " Well, you done settled 
de case ez fur ez I is concerned." 

"What dat, Brothah Hayward?" she 

"Well, I do' know's I's quite prepahed to 
tell you yit." 

" Hyeah now, don' you remembah ol' Mis' 
Eve? Taint nevah right to git a lady's cur'os- 
lty nz. 

"Oh, nemmine, nemmine, I ain't gwine 
keep yo' cur'osity up long. You see, Sistah 
Griggs, you done 'lucidated one p'int to me 
dis night dat meks it plumb needful fu' me to 

She was looking at him with wide open eyes 
of expectation. 



"You made de 'emark to-night, dat it ain't 
no ha'dah lookin' out aftah two dan one." 

" Oh, Brothah Hayward ! " 

" Sistah Sally, I reckernizes dat, an 5 I 
want to know ef you won't let me look out 
aftah we two? Will you ma'y me? " 

She picked nervously at her apron, and her 
eyes sought the floor modestly as she an- 
swered, "Why, Brothah Hayward, I ain't 
fittin' fu' no sich eddicated man ez you. 
S'posin' you'd git to be pu'sidin' elder, er 
bishop, er somp'n' er othah, whaih'd I be?" 

He waved his hand magnanimously. 
" Sistah Griggs, Sally, whatevah high place 
I may be fo'destined to I shall tek my wife 
up wid me." 

This was enough, and with her hearty yes, 
the Rev. Mr. Hayward had Sister Sally close 
in his clerical arms. They were not through 
their mutual felicitations, which were indeed 
so enthusiastic as to drown the sound of a 
knocking at the door and the ominous scrap- 
ing of feet, when the door opened to admit 



Isaac Middleton, just as the preacher was im- 
printing a very decided kiss upon his fiancee's 

"Wha'— wha'" exclaimed Middleton. 

The preacher turned. " Dat you, Isaac? " 
he said complacently. " You must 'scuse ouah 
'pearance, we des got ingaged." 

The fair Sally blushed unseen. 

"What!" cried Isaac. "Ingaged, aftah 
what I toP you to-night." His face was a 

" Yes, suh." 

"An' is dat de way you Stan' up fu' fo'desti- 
nation? " 

This time it was the preacher's turn to 
darken angrily as he replied, " Look a-hyeah, 
Ike Middleton, all I got to say to you is dat 
whenevah a lady cook to please me lak dis 
lady do, an' whenevah I love one lak I love 
huh, an' she seems to love me back, I's a-gwine 
to pop de question to huh, fo'destination er no 
fo'destination, so dah!" 

The moment was pregnant with tragic pos- 


"He preached a powerful sermon, and at its close 
told something of his life." 

Courtesy of <« The Delineator." 


sibilities. The lady still stood with bowed 
head, but her hand had stolen into her minis- 
ter's. Isaac paused, and the situation over- 
whelmed him. Crushed with anger and de- 
feat he turned toward the door. 

On the threshold he paused again to say, 
"Well, all I got to say to you, Hayward, don' 
you nevah talk to me no mor' nuffin' 'bout 




THE Negro population of the little 
Southern town of Danvers was in a 
state of excitement such as it seldom 
reached except at revivals, baptisms, or on 
Emancipation Day. The cause of the com- 
motion was the anticipated return of the Rev. 
Abram Dixon's only son, Robert, who, having 
taken up his father's life-work and graduated 
at one of the schools, had been called to a city 

When Robert's ambition to take a college 
course first became the subject of the village 
gossip, some said that it was an attempt to 
force Providence. If Robert were called to 
preach, they said, he would be endowed with 
the power from on high, and no intervention 
of the schools was necessary. Abram Dixon 
himself had at first rather leaned to this side 
of the case. He had expressed his firm belief 

[ 105 ] 


in the theory that if you opened your mouth, 
the Lord would fill it. As for him, he had no 
thought of what he should say to his people 
when he rose to speak. He trusted to the in- 
spiration of the moment, and dashed blindly 
into speech, coherent or otherwise. 

Himself a plantation exhorter of the an- 
cient type, he had known no school except 
the fields where he had ploughed and sowed, 
the woods and the overhanging sky. He had 
sat under no teacher except the birds and the 
trees and the winds of heaven. If he did not 
fail utterly, if his labour was not without 
fruit, it was because he lived close to nature, 
and so, near to nature's God. With him re- 
ligion was a matter of emotion, and he relied 
for his results more upon a command of feel- 
ing than upon an appeal to reason. So it was 
not strange that he should look upon his son's 
determination to learn to be a preacher as un- 
justified by the real demands of the ministry. 

But as the boy had a will of his own and 
his father a boundless pride in him, the day 



came when, despite wagging heads, Robert 
Dixon went away to be enrolled among the 
students of a growing college. Since then six 
years had passed. Robert had spent his school 
vacations in teaching; and now, for the first 
time, he was coming home, a full-fledged 
minister of the gospel. 

It was rather a shock to the old man's sensi- 
bilities that his son's congregation should give 
him a vacation, and that the young minister 
should accept; but he consented to regard it 
as of the new order of things, and was glad 
that he was to have his boy with him again, 
although he murmured to himself, as he read 
his son's letter through his bone-bowed spec- 
tacles : " Vacation, vacation, an' I wonder ef 
he reckons de devil's goin' to take one at de 
same time?" 

It was a joyous meeting between father and 
son. The old man held his boy off and looked 
at him with proud eyes. 

"Why, Robbie," he said, "you — you's a 



" That's what I'm trying to be, father." The 
young man's voice was deep, and comported 
well with his fine chest and broad shoulders. 

"You's a bigger man den yo' father ever 
was!" said his mother admiringly. 

" Oh, well, father never had the advantage 
of playing football." 

The father turned on him aghast. " Play- 
in' football!" he exclaimed. "You don't 
mean to tell me dat dey 'lowed men learnin' 
to be preachers to play sich games?" 

" Oh, yes, they believe in a sound mind in a 
sound body, and one seems to be as necessary 
as the other in fighting evil." 

Abram Dixon shook his head solemnly. 
The world was turning upside down for him. 

"Football!" he muttered, as the sat down 
to supper. 

Robert was sorry that he had spoken of the 
game, because he saw that it grieved his 
father. He had come intending to avoid 
rather than to combat his parent's prejudices. 
There was no condescension in his thought 



of them and their ways. They were different; 
that was all. He had learned new ways. 
They had retained the old. Even to himself 
he did not say, " But my way is the better 

His father was very full of eager curiosity 
as to his son's conduct of his church, and the 
son was equally glad to talk of his work, for 
his whole soul was in it. 

" We do a good deal in the way of charity 
work among the churchless and almost home- 
less city children; and, father, it would do 
your heart good if you could only see the little 
ones gathered together learning the first 
principles of decent living." 

" Mebbe so," replied the father doubtfully, 
" but what you doin' in de way of teachin' dem 
to die decent?" 

The son hesitated for a moment, and then 

he answered gently, "We think that one is the 

companion of the other, and that the best way 

to prepare them for the future is to keep them 

clean and good in the present." 




" Do you give 'em good strong doctern, er 
do you give 'em milk and water? " 

" I try to tell them the truth as I see it and 
believe it. I try to hold up before them 
the right and the good and the clean and 

"Humph!" exclaimed the old man, and a 
look of suspicion flashed across his dusky face. 
11 1 want you to preach fer me Sunday." 

It was as if he had said, " I have no faith in 
your style of preaching the gospel. I am 
going to put you to the test." 

Robert faltered. He knew his preaching 
would not please his father or his people, and 
he shrank from the ordeal. It seemed like 
setting them all at defiance and attempting to 
enforce his ideas over their own. Then a 
perception of his cowardice struck him, and 
he threw off the feeling that was possessing 
him. He looked up to find his father watch- 
ing him keenly, and he remembered that he 
had not yet answered. 

"I had not thought of preaching here," 



he said, "but I will relieve you if you wish 

"De folks will want to hyeah you an' see 
what you kin do," pursued his father tact- 
lessly. " You know dey was a lot of 'em dat 
said I oughtn't ha' let you go away to school. 
I hope you'll silence 'em." 

Robert thought of the opposition his 
father's friends had shown to his ambitions, 
and his face grew hot at the memory. He 
felt his entire inability to please them now. 

" I don't know, father, that I can silence 
those who opposed my going away or even 
please those who didn't, but I shall try to 
please One." 

It was now Thursday evening, and he Had 

until Saturday night to prepare his sermon. 

He knew Danvers, and remembered what a 

chill fell on its congregations, white or black, 

when a preacher appeared before them with 

a manuscript or notes. So, out of concession 

to their prejudices, he decided not to write his 

sermon, but to go through it carefully and get 



it well in hand. His work was often inter- 
fered with by the frequent summons to see old 
friends who stayed long, not talking much, 
but looking at him with some awe and a good 
deal of contempt. His trial was a little sorer 
than he had expected, but he bore it all 
with the good-natured philosophy which his 
school life and work in a city had taught 

The Sunday dawned, a beautiful, Southern 
summer morning; the lazy hum of the bees 
and the scent of wild honeysuckle were in the 
air; the Sabbath was full of the quiet and 
peace of God ; and yet the congregation which 
filled the little chapel at Danvers came with 
restless and turbulent hearts, and their faces 
said plainly: "Rob Dixon, we have not 
come here to listen to God's word. We have 
come here to put you on trial. Do you hear? 
On trial." 

And the thought, " On trial," was ringing 
in the young minister's mind as he rose to 
speak to them. His sermon was a very fluiet, 



practical one; a sermon that sought to bring 
religion before them as a matter of every-day 
life. It was altogether different from the tor- 
rent of speech that usually flowed from that 
pulpit. The people grew restless under this 
spiritual reserve. They wanted something to 
sanction, something to shout for, and here was 
this man talking to them as simply and quietly 
as if he were not in church. 

As Uncle Isham Jones said, " De man never 
fetched an amen " ; and the people resented his 
ineffectiveness. Even Robert's father sat 
with his head bowed in his hands, broken and 
ashamed of his son; and when, without a 
flourish, the preacher sat down, after talking 
twenty-two minutes by the clock, a shiver of 
surprise ran over the whole church. His 
father had never pounded the desk for less 
than an hour. 

Disappointment, even disgust, was written 
on every face. The singing was spiritless, 
and as the people filed out of church and 
gathered in knots about the door, the old-time 



head-shaking was resumed, and the com- 
ments were many and unfavourable. 

"Dat's what his schoolin' done fo' him," 
said one. 

" It wasn't nothin' mo'n a lecter," was 
another's criticism. 

" Put him 'side o' his father," said one of 
the Rev. Abram Dixon's loyal members, " and 
bless my soul, de ol' man would preach all 
roun' him, and he ain't been to no college, 

Robert and his father walked home in 
silence together. When they were in the 
house, the old man turned to his son and 

" Is dat de way 'dey teach you to preach at 

"I followed my instructions as nearly as 
possible, father." 

"Well, Lawd he'p dey preachin', den! 
Why, befo' I'd ha' been in dat pulpit five 
minutes, I'd ha' had dem people moanin' an' 
hollerin' all over de church." 



"And would they have lived any more 
cleanly the next day? " 

The old man looked at his son sadly, and 
shook his head as at one of the unenlightened. 

Robert did not preach in his father's church 
again before his visit came to a close ; but be- 
fore going he said, " I want you to promise 
me you'll come up and visit me, father. I 
want you to see the work I am trying to do. 
I don't say that my way is best or that my work 
is a higher work, but I do want you to see that 
I am in earnest." 

" I ain't doubtin' you mean well, Robbie," 
said his father, "but I guess I'd be a good 
deal out o' place up thaih." 

" No, you wouldn't, father. You come up 
and see me. Promise me." 

And the old man promised. 
It was not, however, until nearly a year later 
that the Rev. Abram Dixon went up to visit 
his son's church. Robert met him at the sta- 
tion, and took him to the little parsonage 
which the young clergyman's people had pro- 



vided for him. It was a very simple place, 
and an aged woman served the young man as 
cook and caretaker; but Abram Dixon was 
astonished at what seemed to him both vain- 
glory and extravagance. 

" Ain't you livin' kin' o' high fo' yo' raisin', 
Robbie?" he asked. 

The young man laughed. " If you'd see 
how some of the people live here, father, you'd 
hardly say so." 

Abram looked at the chintz-covered sofa 
and shook his head at its luxury, but Robert, 
on coming back after a brief absence, found 
his father sound asleep upon the comfortable 

On the next day they went out together to 
see something of the city. By the habit of 
years, Abram Dixon was an early riser, and 
his son was like him; so they were abroad 
somewhat before business was astir in the 
town. They walked through the commer- 
cial portion and down along the wharves and 
levees. On every side the same sight assailed 



their eyes : black boys of all ages and sizes, the 
waifs and strays of the city, lay stretched here 
and there on the wharves or curled on door- 
sills, stealing what sleep they could before the 
relentless day should drive them forth to beg 
a pittance for subsistence. 

" Such as these we try to get into our flock 
and do something for,' 1 said Robert. 

His father looked on sympathetically, and 
yet hardly with full understanding. There 
was poverty in his own little village, yes, even 
squalour, but he had never seer, anything ; 
like this. At home almost everyone found 
some open door, and rare was the wanderer 
who slept out-of-doors except from choice. 

At nine o'clock they went to the police 
court, and the old minister saw many of his 
race appear as prisoners, receiving brief at- 
tention and long sentences. Finally a h 
was arraigned for theft. He was a little, 
wobegone fellow hardly ten years of age. He 
was charged with stealing cakes from a 
baken*. The judge was about to deal with 



him as quickly as with the others, and Abram's 
heart bled for the child, when he saw a negro 
call the judge's attention. He turned to find 
that Robert had left his side. There was a 
whispered consultation, and then the old 
preacher heard with joy, " As this is his first 
offence and a trustworthy person comes for- 
ward to take charge of him, sentence upon the 
prisoner will be suspended." 

Robert came back to his father holding the 
boy by the hand, and together they made their 
way from the crowded room. 

"I'm so glad! I'm so glad!" said the old 
man brokenly. 

" We often have to do this. We try to save 
them from the first contact with the prison and 
all that it means. There is no reformatory 
for black boys here, and they may not go to 
the institutions for the white; so for the slight- 
est offence they are sent to jail, where they are 
placed with the most hardened criminals. 
When released they are branded forever, and 

their course is usually downward." 



He spoke in a low voice, that what he said 
might not reach the ears of the little ragamuf- 
fin who trudged by his side. 

Abram looked down on the child with a 
sympathetic heart. 

"What made you steal dem cakes?" he 
asked kindly. 

" I was hongry," was the simple reply. 

The old man said no more until he had 
reached the parsonage, and then when he saw 
how the little fellow ate and how tenderly his 
son ministered to him, he murmured to him- 
self, " Feed my lambs " ; and then turning to 
his son, he said, " Robbie, dey's some'p'n in 
dis, dey's some'p'n in it, I tell you." 

That night there was a boy's class in the 
lower room of Robert Dixon's little church. 
Boys of all sorts and conditions were there, 
and Abram listened as his son told them the 
old, sweet stories in the simplest possible man- 
ner and talked to them in his cheery, practical 
way. The old preacher looked into the eyes 
of the street gamins about him, and he began 



to wonder. Some of them were fierce, un- 
ruly-looking youngsters, inclined to meanness 
and rowdyism, but one and all, they seemed 
under the spell of their leader's voice. At 
last Robert said, " Boys, this is my father. 
He's a preacher, too. I want you to come 
up and shake hands with him." Then they 
crowded round the old man readily and 
heartily, and when they were outside the 
church, he heard them pause for a moment, 
and then three rousing cheers rang out with 
the vociferated explanation, " Fo' de minister's 

Abram held his son's hand long that night, 
and looked with tear-dimmed eyes at the boy. 

" I didn't understan'," he said. " I didn't 

"You'll preach for me Sunday, father?" 

" I wouldn't daih, honey. I wouldn't 

" Oh, yes, you will, pap." 

He had not used the word for a long time, 

and at sound of it his father yielded. 



It was a strange service that Sunday morn- 
ing. The son introduced the father, and the 
father, looking at his son, who seemed so short 
a time ago unlearned in the ways of the world, 
gave as his text, "A little child shall lead 

He spoke of his own conceit and vainglory, 
the pride of his age and experience, and then 
he told of the lesson he had learned. "Why, 
people," he said, " I feels like a new convert!" 

It was a gentler gospel than he had ever 
preached before, and in the congregation there 
were many eyes as wet as his own. 

" Robbie," he said, when the service was 
over, " I believe I had to come up here to be 
converted." And Robbie smiled. 

I 121 ] 



SCENE— Race track. Enter old col- 
oured man, seating himself. 
"Oomph, oomph. De work of de 
'devil sho' do p'ospah. How 'do, suh? Des 
tollable, thankee, suh. How you come on? 
Oh, I was des a-sayin' how de wo'k of de ol' 
boy do p'os.pah. Doesn't I frequent the race- 
track? No, suh; no, suh. I's Baptis' myse'f, 
an' I 'low hit's all devil's doin's. Wouldn't 'a' 
be'n hyeah to-day, but I got a boy named Jim 
dat's long gone in sin an' he gwine ride one 
dem hosses. Oomph, dat boy! I sut'ny has 
talked to him and labohed wid him night an' 
day, but it was allers in vain, an' I's feahed 
dat de day of his reckonin' is at han\ 

"Ain't I nevah been intrusted in racin'? 
Humph, you don't s'pose I been dead all my 
life, does you? What you laffin' at? Oh, 
scuse me, scuse me, you unnerstan' what I 



means. You don' give a ol' man time to splain 
hisse'f. What I means is dat dey has been 
days when I walked in de counsels of de on- 
gawdly and set in de seats of sinnahs ; and long 
erbout dem times I did tek most ovahly strong 
to racin'. 

" How long dat been? Oh, dat's way long 
back, 'fo' I got religion, mo'n thuty years ago, 
dough I got to own I has fell from grace sev- 
eral times sense. 

"Yes, suh, I ust to ride. Ki-yi! I nevah 
furgit de day dat my oP Mas' Jack put me on 
June Boy,' his black geldin', an' say to me, 
1 Si,' says he, ' if you don' ride de tail offen 
Cunnel Scott's mare, " No Quit," I's gwine to 
larrup you twell you cain't set in de saddle no 
mo'.' Hyah, hyah. My ol' Mas' was a 
mighty han' fu' a joke. I knowed he wan't 
gwine to do nuffin' to me. 

"Did I win? Why, whut you spec' I's 
doin' hyeah ef I hadn' winned? W'y, ef I'd 
'a' let dat Scott maih beat my ' June Boy' I'd 
'a' drowned myse'f in Bull Skin Crick. 

[ 126 ] 


"Yes, subi, I winned; w'y, at de finish I 
come down dat track lak hit was de Jedgment 
Day an' I was de las' one up ! Ef I didn't race 
dat maih's tail clean off, I 'low I made hit do 
a lot o' switchin'. An' aftah dat my wife 
Mandy she ma'ed me. Hyah, hyah, I ain't 
bin much on hol'in' de reins sence. 

" Sh! dey comin' in to wa'm up, Dat Jim, 
dat Jim, dat my boy; you nasty putrid little 
rascal. Des a hundred an' eight, suh, des a 
hundred an' eight. Yas, suh, dat's my Jim; 
I don' know whaih he gits his dev'ment at. 

"What's de mattah wid dat boy? Whyn't 
he hunch hisse'f up on dat saddle right? Jim, 
Jim, whyn't you limber up, boy; hunch yo'se'f 
up on dat hoss lak you belonged to him and 
knowed you was dah. What I done showed 
you? De black raskil, goin' out dah tryin' to 
disgrace his own daddy. Hyeah he come 
back. Dat's bettah, you scoun'ril. 

" Dat's a right smaht-lookin' hoss he's a-rid- 

in', but I ain't a-trustin' dat bay wid de white 

feet — dat is, not altogethah. She's a favour- 



wright too; but dey's sumpin' else in dis worP 
sides playin' favourwrights. Jim bettah had 
win dis race. His hoss ain't a five to one shot, 
but I spec's to go way fum hyeah wid money 
ernuff to mek a donation on de pa'sonage. 

"Does I bet? Well, I don' des call hit 
bettin' ; but I resks a little w'en I t'inks I kin 
he'p de cause. 'Tain't gamblin', o' co'se; I 
wouldn't gamble fu nothin', dough my oP 
Mastah did ust to say dat a honest gamblaH 
was ez good ez a hones' preachah an' mos' 
nigh ez skace. 

"Look out dah, man, dey's off, Hat nasty 
bay maih wid de white feet leadin' right fu'm 
<de pos'. I knowed it! I knowed it! I had 
my eye on huh all de time. Oh, Jim, Jim, 
why didn't you git in bettah, way back dah 
fouf? Dah go de gong! I knowed dat 
wasn't no staht. Troop back dah, you raskils, 
hyah, hyah. 

" I wush dat boy wouldn't do so much jum- 

mying erroun' wid dat hoss. Fust t'ing he 

know he ain't gwine to know whaih he's at. 



" Dah, dah dey go ag'in. Hit's a sho' t'ing 
dis time. Bettah, Jim, bettah. Dey didn't 
leave you dis time. Hug dat bay mare, hug 
her close, boy. Don't press dat hoss yit. He 
holdin' back a lot o' t'ings. 

"He's gainin'! doggone my cats, he's gain- 
in'! an' dat hoss o' his'n gwine des ez stiddy ez 
a rockin'-chair. Jim alius was a good boy. 

" Confound these spec's, I cain't see 'em 
skacely; huh, you say dey's neck an' neck; now 
I see 'em! now I see 'em! and Jimmy's a-ridin' 
like Huh, huh, I laik to said sumpin'. 

" De bay maih's done huh bes', she's done 
huh bes'! Dey's turned into the stretch an' 
still see-sawin'. Let him out, Jimmy, let him 
out! Dat boy done th'owed de reins away. 
Come on, Jimmy, come on! He's leadin' by 
a nose. Come on, I tell you, you black rap- 
scallion, come on! Give 'em hell, Jimmy! 
give 'em hell! Under de wire an' a len'th 
ahead. Doggone my cats! wake me up w'en 
dat othah hoss comes in. 

"No, suh, I ain't gwine stay no longah, I 



don't app'ove o' racin', I's gwine 'roun' an' 
see dis hyeah bookmakah an' den I's gwine 
dreckly home, suh, dreckly home. I's Bap- 

tis' myse'f, an' I don't app'ove o' no sich 


[ 130 1 



THERE was a very animated discus- 
sion going on, on the lower floor of 
the house Number Ten " D " Street. 
House Number Ten was the middle one of a 
row of more frames, which formed what was 
put down on the real estate agent's list as a 
coloured neighbourhood. The inhabitants 
of the little cottages were people so poor that 
they were constantly staggering on the verge 
of the abyss, which they had been taught to 
dread and scorn, and why, clearly. Life with 
them was no dream, but a hard, terrible real- 
ity, which meant increasing struggle, and little 
wonder then that the children of such parents 
should see the day before Christmas come 
without hope of any holiday cheer. 

Christmas; what did it mean to them? The 
pitiful little dark ragmuffins, save that the 
happy, well-dressed people who passed the 

[ i33 I 


shanties seemed further away from their life, 
save that mother toiled later in the evening at 
her work, if there was work, and that father 
drank more gin and prayed louder in conse- 
quence; save that, perhaps — and there was 
always a donation — that there might be a little 
increase in the amount of cold victuals that 
big sister brought home, and there might be 
turkey-dressing in it. 

But there was a warm discussion in Number 
Ten, and that is the principal thing. The 
next in importance is that Miss Arabella Coe, 
reporter, who had been down that way look- 
ing mainly for a Christmas story, heard the 
sound of voices raised in debate, and paused 
to listen. It was not a very polite thing for 
Miss Coe to do, but then Miss Coe was a re- 
porter and reporters are not scrupulous about 
being polite when there is anything to hear. 
Besides, the pitch to which the lusty young 
voices within were raised argued that the 
owners did not care if the outside world shared 
in the conversation. So Arabella listened, 

I *34 ] 


and after a while she passed through the gate 
and peeped into the room between the broken 
slats of a shutter. 

It was a mean little place, quite what might 
be expected from its exterior. A cook stove 
sat in the middle of the floor with a smoky 
fire in it, and about it were clustered four or 
five black children ranging from a toddler of 
two to a boy of ten. They all showed differ- 
ing degrees of dirt and raggedness, but all 
were far and beyond the point of respect- 

One of the group, the older boy, sat upon 
the bed and was holding forth to his brothers 
and sisters not without many murmurs of 
doubt and disbelief. 

" No/' he was saying, " I tell you dey hain't 
no such thing as a Santy Claus. Dat's somep'n 
dat yo' folks jes' git up to make you be good 
long 'bout Christmas time. I know." 

11 But, Tom, you know what mammy said," 
said a dreamy-eyed little chap, who sat on a 
broken stool with his chin on his hands. 



"Aw, mammy," said the orator, "she's jes' 
a-stuffin' you. She don' believe in no Santy 
Claus herseP, less'n why'nt he bring huh de 
dress she prayed fu' last Christmas." He 
was very wise, this old man of ten years, and 
he had sold papers on the avenue where many 
things are learned, both good and bad. 

"But what you got to say about pappy?" 
pursued the believer. " He say dey's a Santy 
Claus, and dat he comes down de chimbly; 
and " 

"Whut's de mattah wid you; look at dat 
stove pipe; how you s'pose anybody go'n' to 
git in hyeah th'oo de chimbly?" 

They all looked up at the narrow, rusty 
stove pipe and the sigh of hopelessness brought 
the tears to Arabella's eyes. The children 
seemed utterly nonplussed, and Tom was 
swelling at his triumpH. " How's any Santy 
Claus go'n' to come down th'oo that, I want 
to know," he repeated. 

But the faith of childhood is stronger than 
reason. Tom's little sister piped up, " I don't 



know how, but he comes th'roo' that away any- 
how. He brung Mamie Davith a doll and it 
had thoot on it out o' the chimbly." 

It was now Tom's turn to be stumped, but 
he wouldn't let it be known. He only said, 
"Aw," contemptuously and coughed for more 
crushing arguments, 

" I knows dey's a Santy Claus," said dreamy- 
eyed Sam. 

"Ef dey is why'n't he never come here?" 
retorted Tom. 

" I jes' been thinkin' maybe ouah house is 
so little he miss it in de night; dey says he's a 
ol' man an' I 'low his sight ain' good." 

Tom was stricken into silence for a moment 
by this entirely new view of the matter, and 
then finding no answer to it, he said "Aw" 
again and looked superior, but warningly 

"Maybe Thanty's white an' don' go to see 
col'red people," said the little girl. 

" But I do know coloured people's houses 
he's been at," contended Sam. "Aw, dem 



col'red folks dat's got the money, dem's de 
only ones dat Santy Claus fin's, you bet." 

Arabella at the window shuddered at the 
tone of the sceptic; it reminded her so much 
of the world she knew, and it was hard to be- 
lieve that her friends who prided themselves 
on their unbelief could have anything in com- 
mon with a little coloured newsboy down on 
"D" Street. 

"Tell you what," said Sam again, "let's try 
an' see if dey is a Santy. We'll put a light in 
the winder, so if he's ol' he can see us anyhow, 
an' we'll pray right hard fu' him to come." 

" Aw," said Tom. 

" Ith been good all thish month," chirped 
the little girl. 

The other children joined with enthusiasm 
in Sam's plan, though Tom sat upon the bed 
and looked scornfully on. 

Arabella escaped from the window just as 
Sam brought the smoky lamp and set it on 
the sill, but she still stood outside the palings 
of the fence and looked in. She saw four lit- 



tie forms get down on their knees and she 
crept up near again to hear. 

Following Sam's lead they began, "Oh, 
Santy," but Tom's voice broke in, " Don't you 
know the Lord don't 'low you to pray to no- 
body but Him?" 

Sam paused, puzzled for a minute, then he 
led on : " Please 'scuse, good Lord, we started 
wrong, but won't you please, sir, send Santy 
Clause around. Amen." And they got up 
from their knees satisfied. 

"Aw," said Tom as Arabella was turning 
wet-eyed away. 

It was a good thing the reporter left as soon 
as she did, for in a few minutes a big woman 
pushed in at the gate and entered the house. 

" Mammy, mammy," shrieked the children. 

"Lawsy, me," said Martha, laughing, 
"who evah did see sich children? Bless dey 
hearts, an' dey done sot dey lamp in de win- 
der, too, so's dey po' ol' mammy kin see to git 


As she spoke she was taking the lamp away 



to set it on the table where she had placed her 
basket, but the cry of the children stopped her. 
" Oh, no, mammy, don't take it, don't take it, 
dat's to light Santy Claus in." 

She paused a minute bewildered and then 
the light broke over her face. She smiled and 
then a rush of tears quenched the smile. She 
gathered the children into her arms and said, 
" I's feared, honey, ol' man Santy ain' gwine 
fu' you to-night." 

" Wah'd I tell you?" sneered Tom. 

"You hush yo' mouf," said his mother, and 
she left the lamp where it was. 

As Arabella Coe wended her way home 
that night her brain was busy with many 
thoughts. " I've got my story at last," she 
told herself, " and I'll go on up and write it." 
But she did not go up to write it. She came to 
the parting of the ways. One led home, the 
other to the newspaper office where she 
worked. She laughed nervously, and took 
the former way. Once in her room she went 
through her small store of savings. There 

[ 140 1 


was very little there, then she looked down 
ruefully at her worn boots. She did need a 
new pair. Then, holding her money in her 
hand, she sat down to think. 

"It's really a shame," she said to herself, 
" those children will have no Christmas at all L 
anH they'll never believe in Santa Claus again. 
They will lose their faith forever and from 
this it will go to other things." She sat there 
dreaming for a long while and the vision of a 
very different childhood came before her eyes. 

" Dear old place," she murmured softly, " I 
believed in Santa Claus until I was thirteen, 
and that oldest boy is scarcely ten." Suddenly 
she sprung to her feet. " Hooray," she cried, 
" I'll be defender of the faith," and she went 
out into the lighted streets again. 

The shopkeepers looked queerly at Arabella 
that night as she bought as if she were the 
mother of a large and growing family, and 
she appeared too young for that. Finally, 
there was a dress for mother. 

She carried them down on " D " Street and 

[ i4i J 


placed them stealthily at the door of Number 
Ten. She put a note among the things, which 
read: " I am getting old and didn't see your 
house last year, also I am getting fat and 
couldn't get down that little stove pipe of 
yours this year. You must excuse me. Santa 
Claus." Then looking wilfully at her shoes, 
but nevertheless with a glow on her face, she 
went up to the office to write her story. 

There were joyous times at Number Ten 
the next day. Mother was really surprised, 
and the children saw it. 

"Wha'd I tell you," said dreamy Sam. 

Tom said nothing then, but when he went 
down to the avenue to sell the morning papers, 
all resplendent in a new muffler, he strode up 
to a boy and remarked belligerently, " Say, if 
you says de ain't no Santy Claus again, I'll 
punch yo' Head." 

1 142 J 



IN the centre of the quaint old Virginia 
grave-yard stood two monuments side by 
side — two plain granite shafts exactly 
alike. On one was inscribed the name Robert 
Vaughan Fairfax and the year 1864. On the 
other was the simple and perplexing inscrip- 
tion, " Cahoots." Nothing more. 

The place had been the orchard of one of 
the ante-bellum mansions before the dead that 
were brought back from the terrible field of 
Malvern Hill and laid there had given it a 
start as a cemetery. Many familiar names 
were chiselled on the granite head-stones, and 
anyone conversant with Virginia genealogy 
would have known them to belong to some of 
the best families of the Old Dominion. But 
" Cahoots," — who or what was he? 

My interest, not to say curiosity, was 
aroused. There must be a whole story in 



those two shafts with their simple inscriptions, 
a life-drama or perhaps a tragedy. And who 
was more likely to know it than the postmaster 
of the quaint little old town. Just after the 
war, as if tired with its exertions to repel the 
invader, the old place had fallen asleep and 
was still drowsing. 

I left the cemetery — if such it could be 
called — and wended my way up the main 
street to the ancient building which did duty 
as post-office. The man in charge, a griz- 
zled old fellow with an empty sleeve, sat be- 
hind a small screen. He looked up as I 
entered and put out his hand toward the mail- 
boxes, waiting for me to mention my name. 
But instead I said : "lam not expecting any 
mail. I only wanted to ask a few questions." 

"Well, sir, what can I do for you?" he 
asked with some interest. 

" I've just been up there walking through 

the cemetery," I returned, " and I am anxious 

to know the story, if there be one, of two 

monuments which I saw there." 



"You mean Fairfax and Cahoots." 


"You're a stranger about here, of course." 

" Yes," I said again, " and so there is a 

"There is a story and I'll tell it to you. 
Come in and sit down." He opened a wire 
door into his little cage, and I seated my- 
self on a stool and gave my attention to 

" It's just such a story," he began, " as you 
can hear in any of the Southern States — 
wherever there were good masters and faith- 
ful slaves. This particular tale is a part of 
our county history, and there ain't one of the 
old residents but could tell it to you word for 
word and fact for fact. In the days before 
our misunderstanding with the North, the 
Fairfaxes were the leading people in this 
section. By leading, I mean not only the 
wealthiest, not only the biggest land-owners, 
but that their name counted for more in social 
circles and political councils than any other 



hereabout. It is natural to expect that such a 
family should wish to preserve its own name 
down a direct line. So it was a source of 
great grief to old Fairfax that his first three 
children were girls, pretty, healthy, plump 
enough little things, but girls for all that, and 
consequently a disappointment to their 
father's pride of family. When the fourth 
child came and it proved to be a boy, the 
Fairfax plantation couldn't hold the Fairfax 
joy and it flowed out and mellowed the whole 

" They do say that Fairfax Fairfax was in 
one of his further tobacco fields when the good 
news was brought to him, and that after giving 
orders that all the darkies should knock off 
work and take a holiday, in his haste an ex- 
citement he jumped down from his horse and 
ran all the way to the house. I give the story 
only for what it is worth. But if it is true, it 
is the first case of a man of that name and fam- 
ily forgetting himself in an emergency. 

"Well, of course, the advent of a young 



male Fairfax would under any circumstances 
have proven a great event, although it was 
afterwards duplicated, but there would have 
been no story to tell, there would have been no 
" Cahoots," if by some fortuitous circum- 
stance one of the slave women had not hap- 
pened to bring into the world that day and 
almost at the same time that her mistress was 
introducing young Vaughan Fairfax to the 
light, a little black pickaninny of her own. 
Well, if you're a Southern man, and I take it 
that you are, you know that nothing ever hap- 
pens in the quarters that the big house doesn't 
know. So the news was soon at the white 
father's ears and nothing would do him but 
that the black baby must be brought to the 
house and be introduced to the white one. 
The little black fellow came in all rolled in 
his bundle of shawls and was laid for a few 
minutes beside his little lord and master. Side 
by side they lay blinking at the light equally 
strange to both, and then the master took the 
black child's hand and put it in that of the 

[ 149] 


white's. With the convulsive gesture com- 
mon to babyhood the little hands clutched in 
a feeble grasp. 

" ' Dah now,' old Doshy said — she was the 
nurse that had brought the pickaninny up — 
'dey done tol' each othah howdy.' 

" ' Told each other howdy nothing/ said old 
Fairfax solemnly, * they have made a silent 
compact of eternal friendship, and I propose 
to ratify it right here.' 

" He was a religious man, and so there with 
all the darkies clustered around in super- 
stitious awe, and with the white face of his 
wife looking at him from among the pillows, 
he knelt and offered a prayer, and asked a 
blessing upon the two children just come into 
the world. And through it all those diminu- 
tive specimens of humanity lay there blinking 
with their hands still clasped. 

"Well, they named the white child Robert 
Vaughan, and they began calling the little 
darky Ben, until an incident in later life gave 
him the name that clung to him till the last, 


















" | 





























and which the Fairfaxes have had chiseled on 
his tomb-stone. 

" The incident occurred when the two boys 
were about five years old. They were as thick 
as thieves, and two greater scamps and greater 
cronies never tramped together over a Vir- 
ginia plantation. In the matter of deviltry 
they were remarkably precocious, and it was 
really wonderful what an amount of mischief 
those two could do. As was natural, the white 
boy planned the deeds, and the black one 
was his willing coadjutor in carrying them 

Meanwhile, the proud father was smilingly 
indulgent to their pranks, but even with him 
the climax was reached when one of his fine 
young hounds was nearly driven into fits by 
the clatter of a tin can tied to its tail. Then 
the two culprits were summoned to appear 
before the paternal court of inquiry. 

"They came hand in hand, and with no 
great show of fear or embarrassment. They 
had gotten off so many times before that they 

'[ 151 ] 


were perfectly confident of their power in this 
case to cajole the judge. But to their surprise 
he was all sternness and severity. 

" i Now look here,' he said, after expatiating 
on the cruel treatment which the dog had re- 
ceived. ' I want to know which one of you 
tied the can to Spot's tail? ' 

" Robert Vaughan looked at Ben, and Ben 
looked back at him. Silence there, and noth- 
ing more. 

"'Do you hear my question?' old Fairfax 
asked with rising voice. 

" Robert Vaughan looked straight ahead 
of him, and Ben dug his big toe into the sand 
at the foot of the veranda, but neither an- 

" ' Robert Vaughan Fairfax,' said his 
father, 'who played that trick on Spot? 
Answer me, do you hear?' 

"The Fairfax heir seemed suddenly to 
have grown deaf and dumb, and the father 
turned to the black boy. His voice took ori 
the tone of command which he had hardly 



used to his son. 'Who played that trick on 
Spot? Answer me, Ben.' 

"The little darky dug harder and harder 
into the sand, and flashed a furtive glance 
from under his brows at his fellow-conspira- 
tor. Then he drawled out, ' 1 done it.' 

"'You didn't,' came back the instant re- 
tort from his young master, ' I did it my- 

"'I done it,' repeated Ben, and 'You 
didn't,' reiterated his young master. 

"The father sat and looked on at the dis- 
pute, and his mouth twitched suspiciously, but 
he spoke up sternly. ■ Well, if I can't get the 
truth out of you this way, I'll try some other 
plan. Mandy,' he hailed a servant, l put these 
boys on a diet of bread and water until they 
are ready to answer my questions truthfully.' 

"The culprits were led away to their pun- 
ishment. Of course it would have just 
been meat to Mandy to have stolen something 
to the youngsters, but her master kept such a 
close eye upon her that she couldn't, and when 



brought back at the end of three hours, their 
fare had left the prisoners rather hungry. 
But they had evidently disputed the matter 
between themselves, and from the cloud on 
their faces when they reappeared before their 
stern judge, it was still unsettled. 

"To the repetition of the question, 
Vaughan answered again, ' I did it,' and then 
his father tried Ben again. 

"After several efforts, and an imploring 
glance at his boy master, the little black stam- 
mered out: 

"'Well, I reckon — I reckon, Mas,' me an' 
Mas' Vaughan, we done it in cahoots.' 

" Old Fairfax Fairfax had a keen sense of 
humour, and as he looked down on the 
strangely old young darky and took in his 
answer, the circumstance became too much 
for his gravity, and his relaxing laugh sent 
the culprits rolling and tumbling in the sand 
in an ectasy of relief from the strained situ- 

"' Cahoots — I reckon it was "Cahoots,"' 

1 154 1 


the judge said. 'You ought to be named 
that, you little black rascal!' Well, the story 
got around, and so it was, and from that day 
forth the black boy was ' Cahoots.' Cahoots, 
whether on the plantation, at home, in the 
halls of the Northern College, where he ac- 
companied his young master, or in the tragic 
moments of the great war-drama played out 
on the field of Malvern. 

"As they were in childhood, so, inseparable 
through youth and young manhood, Robert 
Fairfax and Cahoots grew up. They were 
together in everything, and when the call 
came that summoned the young Virginian 
from his college to fight for the banner of his 
State, Cahoots was the one who changed from 
the ease of a gentleman's valet to the hardship 
of a soldier's body-servant. 

"The last words Fairfax Fairfax said as 
his son cantered away in his gray suit were 
addressed to Cahoots: 'Take good care of 
your Mas' Vaughan, Cahoots, and don't come 
back without him.' 



U i 

I won't, Mastah,' Cahoots flung back and 
galloped after his life-long companion. 

"Well, the war brought hard times both 
for master and man, and there were no 
flowery beds of ease even for the officers who 
wore the gray. Robert Fairfax took the for- 
tunes of the conflict like a man and a Vir- 
ginia gentleman, and with him Cahoots. 

"It was at Malvern Hill that the young 
Confederate led his troops into battle, and all 
day long the booming of the cannon and the 
crash of musketry rising above the cries of the 
wounded and dying came to the ears of the 
slave waiting in his tent for his master's re- 
turn. Then in the afternoon a scattered frag- 
ment came straggling back into the camp. 
Cahoots went out to meet them. The firing 
still went on. 

"'Whah's Mas' Bob?' his voice pierced 
through the cannon's thunder. 

" ' He fell at the front, early in the battle.' 
" ' Whah's his body den, ef he fell ? ' 
"'We didn't have time to look for (dead 



bodies in that murderous fire. It was all we 
could do to get our living bodies away.' 

" ' But I promised not to go back without 
him.' It was a wail of anguish from the 

" * Well, you'll have to.' 
"< I won't. Whahdidhefall?' 
" Someone sketched briefly the approximate 
locality of Robert Fairfax's resting place, and 
on the final word Cahoots tore away. 

"The merciless shot of the Federals was 
still raking the field. But amid it all an old 
prairie schooner, gotten from God knows 
where, started out from the dismantled 
camp across the field. ' Some fool going to his 
death,' said one of the gray soldiers. 

" A ragged, tattered remnant of the wagon 
came back. The horses were bleeding and 
staggering in their steps. The very harness 
was cut by the balls that had grazed it. But 
with a light in his eyes and the look of a hero, 
Cahoots leaped from the tattered vehicle and 
began dragging out the body of his master. 



" He had found him far to the front in an 
abandoned position and brought him back 
over the field of the dead. 

" ' How did you do it? ' They asked him. 

" ' I jes' had to do it,' he said. ' I promised 
not to go home widout him, and I didn't keer 
ef I did git killed. I wanted to die ef I 
couldn't find Mas' Bob's body.' 

" He carried the body home, and mourned 
at the burial, and a year later came back to the 
regiment with the son who had come after 
Robert, and was now just of fighting age. He 
went all through this campaign, and when 
the war was over, the two struck away into 
the mountains. They came back after a 
while, neither one having taken the oath of 
allegiance, and if there were any rebels Ca- 
hoots was as great a one to the day of his death 
as his master. That tomb-stone, you see it 
looks old, was placed there at the old master's 
request when his dead son came home from 
Malvern Hill, for he said when Cahoots went 
to the other side they must not be separated ; 



that accounts for its look of age, but it was not 
until last year that we laid Cahoots — Cahoots 
still though an old man — beside his master. 
And many a man that had owned his people, 
and many another that had fought to continue 
that ownership, dropped a tear on his grave." 




EVEN as early as September, in the 
year of 1870, the newly emancipated 
had awakened to the perception of 
the commercial advantages of freedom, and 
had begun to lay snares to catch the fleet and 
elusive dollar. Those controversialists who 
say that the Negro's only idea of freedom was 
to live without work are either wrong, ma- 
licious, or they did not know Little Africa 
when the boom was on; when every little 
African, fresh from the fields and cabins, 
dreamed only of untold wealth and of man- 
sions in which he would have been thoroughly 
uncomfortable. These were the devil's sunny 
days, and early and late his mowers were in 
the field. These were the days of benefit 
societies that only benefited the shrewdest 
man; of mutual insurance associations, of wild 
building companies, and of gilt-edged land 



schemes wherein the unwary became bogged. 
This also was the day of Mr. Jason Buford, 
who, having been free before the war, knew 
a thing or two, and now had set himself up as 
a promoter. Truly he had profited by the 
example of the white men for whom he had 
so long acted as messenger and factotum. 

As he frequently remarked when for pur- 
poses of business he wished to air his Biblical 
knowledge, " I jest takes the Scripter fur my 
motter an' foller that ol' passage where it says, 
1 Make hay while the sun shines, fur the night 
cometh when no man kin work.' " 

It is related that one of Mr. Buford's cus- 
tomers was an old plantation exhorter. At 
the first suggestion of a Biblical quotation the 
old gentleman closed his eyes and got ready 
with his best amen. But as the import of the 
words dawned on him he opened his eyes in 
surprise, and the amen died a-borning. " But 
do hit say dat?" he asked earnestly. 

" It certainly does read that way," said the 
promoter glibly. 



"Uh, huh," replied the old man, settling 
himself back in his chair. " I been preachin' 
dat t'ing wrong fu' mo' dan fo'ty yeahs. Dat's 
whut comes o' not bein' able to read de wo'd 
fu' yo'se'f." 

Buford had no sense of the pathetic or he 
could never have done what he did — sell to 
the old gentleman, on the strength of the 
knowledge he had imparted to him, a house 
and lot upon terms so easy that he might 
drowse along for a little time and then wake 
to find himself both homeless and penniless. 
This was the promoter's method, and for so 
long a time had it proved successful that he 
had now grown mildly affluent and had set up 
a buggy in which to drive about and see his 
numerous purchasers and tenants. 

Buford was a suave little yellow fellow, 
with a manner that suggested the training of 
some old Southern butler father, or at least, 
an experience as a likely house-boy. He was 
polite, plausible, and more than all, resource- 
ful. All of this he had been for years, but 



in all these years he had never so risen to the 
height of his own uniqueness as when he con- 
ceived and carried into execution the idea of 
the " Buford Colonizing Company." 

Humanity has always been looking for an 
Eldorado, and, however mixed the metaphor 
may be, has been searching for a Moses to lead 
it thereto. Behold, then, Jason Buford in the 
role of Moses. And equipped he was to carry 
off his part with the very best advantage, for 
though he might not bring water from the 
rock, he could come as near as any other man 
to getting blood from a turnip. 

The beauty of the man's scheme was that no 
offering was too small to be accepted. In- 
deed, all was fish that came to his net. 

Think of paying fifty cents down and know- 
ing that some time in the dim future you 
would be the owner of property in the very 
heart of a great city where people would rush 
to buy. It was glowing enough to attract a 
people more worldly wise than were these 

late slaves. They simply fell into the scheme 



with all their souls; and off their half dollars, 
dollars, and larger sums, Mr. Buford waxed 
opulent. The land meanwhile did not ma- 

It was just at this time that Sister Jane Cal- 
lender came upon the scene and made glad the 
heart of the new-fledged Moses. He had 
heard of Sister Jane before, and he had 
greeted her coming with a sparkling of eyes 
and a rubbing of hands that betokened a joy 
with a good financial basis. 

The truth about the newcomer was that she 
had just about received her pension, or that 
due to her deceased husband, and she would 
therefore be rich, rich to the point where avar- 
ice would lie in wait for her. 

Sis' Jane settled in Mr. Buford's bailiwick, 
joined the church he attended, and seemed 
only waiting with her dollars for the very 
call which he was destined to make. She was 
hardly settled in a little three-room cottage 
before he hastened to her side, kindly intent, 
or its counterfeit, beaming from his features. 



He found a weak-looking old lady propped 
in a great chair, while another stout and 
healthy-looking woman ministered to her 
wants or stewed about the house in order to 
be doing something. 

"Ah, which — which is Sis' Jane Callen- 
der," he asked, rubbing his hands for all the 
would like a clothing dealer over a good 

" Dat's Sis' Jane in de cheer," said the ani- 
mated one, pointing to her charge. " She 
feelin' mighty po'ly dis evenin'. What might 
be yo' name?" She was promptly told. 

" Sis' Jane, hyeah one de good brothahs 
come to see you to ofifah his suvices if you need 

" Thanky, brothah, charity," said the weak 
voice, " sit yo'se'f down. You set down, Aunt 
Dicey. Tain't no use a runnin' roun' waitin' 
on me. I ain't long fu' dis worl' nohow, 

" Buford is my name an' I came in to see if 
I could be of any assistance to you, a-fixin' 

[ 168 ] 


up yo' mattahs er seein' to anything for 

" Hit's mighty kind o' you to come, dough 
I don' 'low I'll need much fixin' fu' now." 

" Oh, we hope you'll soon be better, Sistah 

"Nevah no mo', suh, 'til I reach the 

" Sis' Jane Callender, she have been mighty 
sick," broke in Aunt Dicey Fairfax, "but I 
reckon she gwine pull thoo', the Lawd willin'." 

" Amen," said Mr. Buford. 

" Huh, uh, children, I done hyeahd de 
washin' of de waters of Jerdon." 

" No, no, Sistah Callendah, we hope to see 
you well and happy in de injoyment of de pen- 
sion dat I understan' de gov'ment is goin' to 
give you." 

" La, chile, I reckon de white folks gwine 
to git dat money. I ain't nevah gwine to live 
to 'ceive it. Des' aftah I been wo'kin' so long 
fu' it, too." 

The small eyes of Mr. Buford glittered with 



anxiety and avarice. What, was this rich 
plum about to slip from his grasp, just as he 
was about to pluck it? It should not be. He 
leaned over the old lady with intense eagerness 
in his gaze. 

"You must live to receive it," he said, 
"we need that money for the race. It must 
not go back to the white folks. Ain't you 
got nobody to leave it to? " 

" Not a chick ner a chile, 'ceptin' Sis' Dicey 
Fairfax here." 

Mr. Buford breathed again. "Then leave it 
to her, by all means," he said. 

" I don' want to have nothin' to do with de 
money of de daid," said Sis' Dicey Fairfax. 

"Now, don't talk dat away, Sis' Dicey," 
said the sick woman. " Brother Buford is 
right, case you sut'ny has been good to me 
sence I been layin' hyeah on de bed of afflic- 
tion, an' dey ain't nobody more fitterner to 
have dat money den you is. Ef de Lawd des 
lets me live long enough, I's gwine to mek 
my will in yo' f avoh." 

[ 170 ] 


"De Lawd's will be done," replied the 
other with resignation, and Mr. Buford 
echoed with an " Amen!" 

He stayed very long that evening, planning 
and talking with the two old women, who re- 
ceived his words as the Gospel. Two weeks 
later the Ethiopian Banner, which was the 
organ of Little Africa, announced that Sis' 
Jane Callender had received a back pension 
which amounted to more than five hundred 
dollars. Thereafter Mr. Buford was seen 
frequently in the little cottage, until one day, 
after a lapse of three or four weeks, a police- 
man entered Sis' Jane Callender's cottage and 
led her away amidst great excitement to 
prison. She was charged with pension fraud, 
and against her protestations, was locked up 
to await the action of the Grand Jury. 

The promoter was very active in his client's 
behalf, but in spite of all his efforts she was 
indicted and came up for trial. 

It was a great day for the denizens of Little 
Africa, and they crowded the court room to 



look upon this stranger who had come among 
them to grow so rich, and then suddenly to 
fall so low. 

The prosecuting attorney was a young 
Southerner, and when he saw the prisoner at 
the bar he started violently, but checked him- 
self. When the prisoner saw him, however, 
she made no effort at self control. 

" Lawd o' mussy," she cried, spreading out 
her black arms, " if it ain't Miss Lou's little 

The judge checked the hilarity of the audi- 
ence; the prosecutor maintained his dignity 
by main force, and the bailiff succeeded in 
keeping the old lady in her place, although 
she admonished him: "Pshaw, chile, you 
needn't fool wid me, I nussed dat boy's 
mammy when she borned him." 

It was too much for the young attorney, and 
he would have been less a man if it had not 
been. He came over and shook her hand 
warmly, and this time no one laughed. 

It was really not worth while prolonging 



the case, and the prosecution was nervous. 
The way that old black woman took the court 
and its officers into her bosom was enough to 
disconcert any ordinary tribunal. She pa- 
tronised the judge openly before the hearing 
began and insisted upon holding a gentle 
motherly conversation with the foreman of 
the jury. 

She was called to the stand as the very first 

"What is your name?" asked the attorney. 

" Now, Bobby, what is you axin' me dat fu'? 
You know what my name is, and you one of 
de Fairfax f ambly, too. I 'low ef yo' mammy 
was hyeah, she'd mek you 'membah ; she'd put 
you in yo' place." 

The judge rapped for order. 

" That is just a manner of proceeding," he 
said; "you must answer the question, so the 
rest of the court may know." 

" Oh, yes, suh, 'scuse me, my name hit's 
Dicey Fairfax." 

The attorney for the defence threw up his 



hands and turned purple. He had a dozen 
witnesses there to prove that they had known 
the woman as Jane Callender. 

" But did you not give your name as Jane 

" I object/' thundered the defence. 

" Do, hush, man," Sis' Dicey exclaimed, and 
then turning to the prosecutor, " La, honey, 
you know Jane Callender ain't my real name, 
you knows dat yo'se'f. It's des my bus'ness 
name. Wy, Sis' Jane Callender done daid 
an' gone to glory too long 'go fu' to talk 

"Then you admit to the court that your 
name is not Jane Callender? " 

"Wha's de use o' my 'mittin', don' you 
know it yo'se'f, suh? Has I got to come 
hyeah at dis late day an' p'ove my name an' 
redentify befo' my ol' Miss's own chile? Mas' 
Bob, I nevah did t'ink you'd ac' dat away. 
Freedom sutny has done tuk erway yo' man- 

" Yes, yes, yes, that's all right, but we want 

L i74 ] 


to establish the fact that your name is Dicey 

" Cose it is." 

"Your Honor, I object — I " 

" Your Honor," said Fairfax coldly, " will 
you grant me the liberty of conducting the 
examination in a way somewhat out of the 
ordinary lines? I believe that my brother for 
the defence will have nothing to complain of. 
I believe that I understand the situation and 
shall be able to get the truth more easily by 
employing methods that are not altogether 

The court seemed to understand a thing 
or two himself, and overruled the defence's 

"Now, Mrs. Fairfax " 

Aunt Dicey snorted. " Hoomph? What? 
Mis' Fairfax? What ou say, Bobby Fairfax? 
What you call me dat fu'? My name Aunt 
Dicey to you an' I want you to un'erstan' dat 
right hyeah. Ef you keep on foolin' wid me, 
I 'spec' my patience gwine waih claih out." 



" Excuse me. Well, Aunt Dicey, why did 
you take the name of Jane Callender if your 
name is really Dicey Fairfax?" 

" W'y, I done tol' you, Bobby, dat Sis' Jane 
Callender was des' my business name." 

"Well, how were you to use this business 

"Well, it was des dis away. Sis' Jane Cal- 
lender, she gwine git huh pension, but la, 
chile, she tuk down sick unto deaf, an' Brothah 
Buford, he say dat she ought to mek a will in 
f avoh of somebody, so's de money would stay 
'mongst ouah folks, an' so, bimeby, she 'greed 
she mek a will." 

"And who is Brother Buford, Aunt 

"Brothah Buford? OH, he's de gemman 
whut come an' offered to 'ten' to Sis' Jane 
Callender's bus'ness fu' huh. He's a moughty 
clevah man." 

"And he told her she ought to make a 

"Yas, suh. So she 'greed she gwine mek 



a will, an' she say to me, ' Sis Dicey, you sut'ny 
has been good to me sence I been layin' hyeah 
on dis bed of 'fliction, an' I gwine will all my 
proputy to you.' Well, I don't want to tek 
de money, an' she des mos' nigh fo'ce it on me, 
so I say yes, an' Brothah Buford he des sot an' 
talk to us, an' he say dat he come to-morror to 
bring a lawyer to draw up de will. But bless 
Gawd, honey, Sis' Callender died dat night, 
an' de will wasn't made, so when Brothah 
Buford come bright an' early next mornin', I 
was layin' Sis' Callender out. Brothah Bu- 
ford was mighty much moved, he was. I 
nevah did see a strange pusson tek anything 
so hard in all my life, an' den he talk to me, 
an' he say, 'Now, Sis' Dicey, is you notified 
any de neighbours yit?' an' I said no I hain't 
notified no one of de neighbours, case I ain't 
'quainted wid none o' dem yit, an' he say, 
* How erbout de doctah? Is he 'quainted wid 
de diseased?' an' I toP him no, he des come 
in, da's all. 'Well,' he say, 'cose you un'er- 
stan' now dat you is Sis' Jane Callender, caise 



you inhc'it huh name, an' when de doctah 
come to mek out de 'stiffycate, you mus' tell 
him dat Sis' Dicey Fairfax is de name of de 
diseased, an' it '11 be all right, an' aftah dis 
you got to go by de name o' Jane Callender, 
caise it's a bus'ness name you done inhe'it.' 
Well, dat's whut I done, an' dat's huccome I 
been Jane Callender in de bus'ness 'sactions, 
an' Dicey Fairfax at home. Now, you un'er- 
stan', don't you? It wuz my inhe'ited 

" But don't you know that what you have 
done is a penitentiary offence?" 

" Who you stan'in' up talkin' to dat erway, 
you nasty impident little scoun'el? Don't you 
talk to me dat erway. I reckon ef yo' mammy 
was hyeah she sut'ny would tend to yo' case. 
You alluse was sassier an' pearter den yo' 
brother Nelse, an' he had to go an' git killed 
in de wah, an' you — you — w'y, jedge, I'se 
spanked dat boy mo' times den I kin tell you 
fu' hus impidence. I don't see how you evah 
gits erlong wid him." 



The court repressed a ripple that ran 
around. But there was no smile on the 
smooth-shaven, clear-cut face of the young 
Southerner. Turning to the attorney for the 
defence, he said: "Will you take the wit- 
ness?" But that gentleman, waving one 
helpless hand, shook his head. 

"That will do, then," said young Fairfax. 
"Your Honor," he went on, addressing the 
court, " I have no desire to prosecute this 
case further. You all see the trend of it just 
as I see, and it would be folly to continue the 
examination of any of the rest of these wit- 
nesses. We have got that story from Aunt 
Dicey herself as straight as an arrow from a 
bow. While technically she is guilty; while 
according to the facts she is a criminal ac- 
cording to the motive and the intent of her 
actions, she is as innocent as the whitest soul 
among us." He could not repress the youth- 
ful Southerner's love for this little bit of 

" And I believe that nothing is to be gained 



by going further into the matter, save for the 
purpose of rinding out the whereabouts of this 
Brother Buford, and attending to his case as 
the facts warrant. But before we do this, I 
want to see the stamp of crime wiped away 
from the name of my Aunt Dicey there, and 
I beg leave of the court to enter a nolle 
prosse. There is only one other thing I must 
ask of Aunt Dicey, and that is that she return 
the money that was illegally gotten, and give 
us information concerning the whereabouts of 

Aunt Dicey looked up in excitement, " W'y, 
chile, ef dat money was got illegal, I don' 
want it, but I do know whut I gwine to do, 
cause I done Vested it all wid Brothah Buford 
in his colorednization comp'ny." The court 
drew its breath. It had been expecting some 
such denouement. 

"And where is the office of this company 

"Well, I des can't tell dat," said the old 
lady. "W'y, la, man, Brothah Buford was 

[ 180 ] 


in co't to-day. Whaih is he? Brothah Bu- 
ford, whaih you?" But no answer came from 
the surrounding spectators. Brother Buford 
had faded away. The old lady, however, 
after due conventions, was permitted to go 

It was with joy in her heart that Aunt Dicey 
Fairfax went back to her little cottage after 
her dismissal, but her face clouded when soon 
after Robert Fairfax came in. 

" Hyeah you come as usual," she said with 
well-feigned anger. "Tryin' to sof soap me 
aftah you been carryin' on. You ain't changed 
one mite fu' all yo' bein' a man. What you 
talk to me dat away in co't fu'?" 

Fairfax's face was very grave. " It was 
necessary, Aunt Dicey," he said. "You know 
I'm a lawyer now, and there are certain things 
that lawyers have to do whether they like it or 
not. You don't understand. That man Bu- 
ford is a scoundrel, and he came very near 
leading you into a very dangerous and crim- 
inal act. I am glad I was near to save youJ 




" Oh, honey, chile, I didn't know dat. Set 
down an' tell me all erbout it." 

This the attorney did, and the old lady's 
indignation blazed forth. "Well, I hope to 
de Lawd you'll fin' dat rascal an' larrup him 
ontwell he cain't stan' straight." 

" No, we're going to do better than that and 
a great deal better. If we find him we are 
going to send him where he won't inveigle 
any more innocent people into rascality, and 
you're going to help us." 

" W'y, sut'ny, chile, I'll do all I kin to he'p 
you git dat rascal, but I don't know whaih he 
lives, case he's alius come hyeah to see me." 

" He'll come back some day. In the mean- 
time we will be laying for him." 

Aunt Dicey was putting some very flaky 
biscuits into the oven, and perhaps the mem- 
ory of other days made the young lawyer pro- 
long his visit and his explanation. When, 
however, he left, it was with well-laid plans 
to catch Jason Buford napping. 

It did not take long. Stealthily that same 

[ 182 ] 


evening a tapping came at Aunt Dicey's door. 
She opened it, and a small, crouching figure 
crept in. It was Mr. Buford. He turned 
down the collar of his coat which he had had 
closely up about his face and said: 

"Well, well, Sis' Callender, you sut'ny have 
spoiled us all." 

"La, Brothah Buford, come in hyeah an' 
set down. Whaih you been?" 

" I been hidin' fu' feah of that testimony 
you give in the court room. What did you 
do that fu'?" 

" La, me, I didn't know, you didn't 'splain 
to me in de fust." 

"Well, you see, you spoiled it, an' I've got 
to git out of town as soon as I kin. Sis' Cal- 
lender, dese hyeah white people is mighty 
slippery, and they might catch me. But I 
want to beg you to go on away from hyeah so's 
you won't be hyeah to testify if dey does. 
Hyeah's a hundred dollars of yo' money right 
down, and you leave hyeah to-morrer mornin' 
an' go erway as far as you kin git," 



" La, man, Fs puffectly willin' to he'p you, 
you know dat." 

"Cose, cose," he answered hurriedly, "we 
col'red people has got to stan' together." 

" But what about de res' of dat money dat I 
been 'vestin' wid you?" 

" I'm goin' to pay intrus' on that," answered 
the promoter glibly. 

"All right, all right." Aunt Dicey had 
made several trips to the little back room just 
off her sitting room as she talked with the pro- 
moter. Three times in the window had she 
waved a lighted lamp. Three times without 
success. But at the last " all right," she went 
into the room again. This time the waving 
lamp was answered by the sudden flash of a 
lantern outside. 

" All right," she said, as she returned to the 
room, "set down an' lemme fix you some 

" I ain't hardly got the time. I got to git 
away from hyeah." But the smell of the new 
baked biscuits was in his nostrils and he could 



not resist the temptation to sit down. He was 
eating hastily, but with appreciation, when 
the door opened and two minions of the law 

Buford sprang up and turned to flee, but 
at the back door, her large form a towering 
and impassive barrier, stood Aunt Dicey. 

" Oh, don't hu'y, Brothah Buford," she said 
calmly, "set down an' he'p yo'se'f. Dese 
hyeah's my friends." 

It was the next day that Robert Fairfax saw 
him in his cell. The man's face was ashen 
with coward's terror. He was like a caught 
rat though, bitingly on the defensive. 

" You see we've got you, Buford," said Fair- 
fax coldly to him. " It is as well to con- 

" I ain't got nothin' to say," said Buford 

"You will have something to say later on 
unless you say it now. I don't want to intimi- 
date you, but Aunt Dicey's word will be taken 
in any court in the United States against yours, 



and I see a few years hard labour for you be- 
tween good stout walls." 

The little promoter showed his teeth in an 
impotent snarl. "What do you want me to 
do?" he asked, weakening. 

H First, I want you to give back every cent 
of the money that you got out of Dicey Fair- 
fax. Second, I want you to give up to every 
one of those Negroes that you have cheated 
every cent of the property you have accumu- 
lated by fraudulent means. Third, I want 
you to leave this place, and never come back 
so long as God leaves breath in your dirty 
body. If you do this, I will save you — you 
are not worth the saving — from the pen or 
ivorse. If you don't, I will make this place 
so hot for you that hell will seem like an ice- 
box beside it." 

The little yellow man was cowering in his 
cell before the attorney's indignation. His 
lips were drawn back over his teeth in some- 
thing that was neither a snarl nor a smile. 
His eyes were bulging and fear-stricken, and 



his hands clasped and unclasped themselves 

"I — I " he faltered, " do you want to 

send me out without a cent? " 

" Without a cent, without a cent," said Fair- 
fax tensely. 

" I won't do it," the rat in him again showed 
fight. " I w T on't do it. I'll stay hyeah an' 
fight you. You can't prove anything on me." 

"All right, all right," and the attorney 
turned toward the door. 

"Wait, wait" called the man, " I will do it, 
my God! I will do it. Jest let me out o' 
hyeah, don't keep me caged up. I'll go away 
from hyeah." 

Fairfax turned back to him coldly, "You 
will keep your word? " 


" I will return at once and take the con- 

And so the thing was done. Jason Buford, 
stripped of his ill-gotten gains, left the neigh- 
bourhood of Little Africa forever. And 



Aunt Dicey, no longer a wealthy woman and 
a capitalist, is baking golden brown biscuits 
for a certain young attorney and his wife, who 
has the bad habit of rousing her anger by 
references to her business name and her invest- 
ments with a promoter. 





He had been free for ten years, and he 
was proud of it. He had been proud of 
it from the beginning, and that was the reason 
that he was one of the first to cast off the bonds 
of his old relations, and move from the plan- 
tation and take up land for himself. He was 
anxious to cut himself off from all that bound 
him to his former life. So strong was this 
feeling in him that he would not consent to 
stay on and work for his one-time owner even 
for a full wage. 

To the proposition of the planter and the 
gibes of some of his more dependent fellows 
he answered, " No, suh, I's free, an' I sholy Is 
able to tek keer o' myse'f. I done been fat- 
tenin' frogs fu' othah people's snakes too long 




"But, Jerry," said Samuel Brabant, "I 
don't mean you any harm. The thing's done. 
You don't belong to me any more, but natur- 
ally, I take an interest in you, and want to do 
what I can to give you a start. It's more than 
the Northern government has done for you, 
although such wise men ought to know that 
you have had no training in caring for your- 

There was a slight sneer in the Southerner's 
voice. Jerry perceived it and thought it di- 
rected against him. Instantly his pride rose 
and his neck stiffened. 

" Nemmine me," he answered, " nemmine 
me. I's free, an' w'en a man's free, he's free." 

"All right, go your own way. You may 
have to come back to me some time. If you 
have to come, come. I don't blame you now. 
It must be a great thing to you, this dream — 
this nightmare." Jerry looked at him. 
" Oh, it isn't a nightmare now, but some day, 
maybe, it will be, then come to me." 

The master turned away from the newly 

[ 192] 


made freeman, and Jerry went forth into the 
world which was henceforth to be his. He 
took with him his few belongings; these 
largely represented by his wife and four lusty- 
eating children. Besides, he owned a little 
money, which he had got working for others 
when his master's task was done. Thus, bur- 
r dened and equipped, he set out to tempt 

He might do one of two things — farm land 
upon shares for one of his short-handed neigh- 
bours, or buy a farm, mortgage it, and pay for 
it as he could. As was natural for Jerry, and 
not uncommendable, he chose at once the lat- 
ter course, bargained for his twenty acres — 
for land was cheap then, bought his mule, 
built his cabin, and set up his household 

Now, slavery may give a man the habit of 
work, but it cannot imbue him with the nat- 
ural thrift that long years of self-dependence 
brings. There were times when Jerry's free- 
dom tugged too strongly at his easy inclin- 

[ 193 ] 


ation, drawing him away to idle when he 
should have toiled. What was the use of 
freedom, asked an inward voice, if one might 
not rest when one would? If he might not 
stop midway the furrow to listen and laugh 
at a droll story or tell one? If he might not 
go a-fishing when all the forces of nature in- 
vited and the jay-bird called from the tree and 
gave forth saucy banter like the fiery, blue 
shrew that she was? 

There were times when his compunction 
held Jerry to his task, but more often he 
turned an end furrow and laid his misgivings 
snugly under it and was away to the woods or 
the creek. There was joy and a loaf for the 
present. What more could he ask? 

The first year Fortune laughed at him, and 
her laugh is very different from her smile. 
She sent the swift rains to wash up the new 
planted seed, and the hungry birds to devour 
them. She sent the fierce sun to scorch the 
young crops, and the clinging weeds to hug 
the fresh greenness of his hope to death. She 

[ i94] 


sent — cruellest jest of all — another baby to be 
fed, and so weakened Cindy Ann that for 
many days she could not work beside her hus- 
band in the fields. 

Poverty began to teach the unlessoned 
delvei in the soil the thrift which he needed ; 
but he ended his first twelve months with 
barely enough to eat, and nothing paid on his 
land or his mule. Broken and discouraged, 
the words of his old master came to him. But 
he was proud with an obstinate pride and he 
shut his lips together so that he might not 
groan. He would not go to his master. 
Anything rather than that. 

In that place sat certain beasts of prey, deal- 
ers, and lenders of money, who had their lairs 
somewhere within the boundaries of that wide 
and mysterious domain called The Law. 
They had their risks to run, but so must all 
beasts that eat flesh or drink blood. To them 
went Jerry, and they were kind to him. They 
gave him of their store. They gave him food 
and seed, but they were to own all that they 



gave him from what he raised, and they were 
to take their toll first from the new crops. 

Now, the black had been warned against 
these same beasts, for others had fallen a prey 
to them even in so short a time as their eman- 
cipation measured, and they saw themselves 
the re-manacled slaves of a hopeless and ever- 
growing debt, but Jerry would not be warned. 
He chewed the warnings like husks between 
his teeth, and got no substance from them. 

Then, Fortune, who deals in surprises, 
played him another trick. She smiled upon 
him. His second year was better than his 
first, and the brokers swore over his paid up 
note. Cindy Ann was strong again and the 
oldest boy was big enough to help with the 

Samuel Brabant was displeased, not because 
he felt any malice toward his former servant, 
but for the reason that any man with the 
natural amount of human vanity must feel 
himself agrieved just as his cherished 

prophecy is about to come true. Isaiah him- 



self could not have been above it. How much 
less, then, the uninspired Mr. Brabant, who 
had his " I told you so," all ready. He had 
been ready to help Jerry after giving him 
admonitions, but here it was not needed. An 
unused " I told you so," however kindly, is an 
acid that turns the milk of human kindness 

Jerry went on gaining in prosperity. The 
third year treated him better than the second, 
and the fourth better than the third. During 
the fifth he enlarged his farm and his house 
and took pride in the fact that his oldest boy, 
Matthew, was away at school. By the tenth 
year of his freedom he was arrogantly out of 
debt Then his pride was too much for him. 
During all these years of his struggle the 
words of his master had been as gall in his 
mouth. Now he spat them out with a boast 
He talked much in the market-place, and 
where many people gathered, he was much 
there, giving himself as a bright and shining 



" Huh," he would chuckle to any listeners 
he could find, "OF Mas' Brabant, he say, 
1 Stay hyeah, stay hyeah, you do' know how to 
tek keer o' yo'se'f yit.' But I des' look at my 
two han's an' I say to myse'f, whut I been doin' 
wid dese all dese yeahs — tekin' keer o' myse'f 
an' him, too. I wo'k in de fiel', he set in de 
big house an' smoke. I wo'k in de fiel', his 
son go away to college an' come back a grad- 
uate. Das hit. Well, w'en freedom come, I 
des' bent an' boun' I ain' gwine do it no mo' 
an' I didn't. Now look at me. I sets down 
w'en I wants to. I does my own wo'kin' an' 
my own smokin'. I don't owe a cent, an' dis 
yeah my boy gwine graduate f om de school. 
Dat's me, an' I ain' called on ol' Mas' yit." 

Now, an example is always an odious thing, 
because, first of all, it is always insolent even 
when it is bad, and there were those who list- 
ened to Jerry who had not been so successful 
as he, some even who had stayed on the plan- 
tation and as yet did not even own. the mule 
they ploughed with. The hearts of those were 

[ 198 ] 


filled with rage and their mouths with envy. 
Some of the sting of the latter got into their 
re-telling of Jerry's talk and made it worse 
than it was. 

Old Samuel Brabant laughed and said, 
"Well, Jerry's not dead yet, and although I 
don't wish him any harm, my prophecy might 
come true yet." 

There were others who, hearing, did not 
laugh, or if they did, it was with a mere 
strained thinning of the lips that had no ele- 
ment of mirth in it. Temper and tolerance 
were short ten years after sixty-three. 

The foolish farmer's boastings bore fruit, 
and one night when he and his family had 
gone to church he returned to find his house 
and barn in ashes, his mules burned and his 
crop ruined. It had been very quietly done 
and quickly. The glare against the sky had 
attracted few from the nearby town, and them 
too late to be of service. 

Jerry camped that night across the road 
from what remained of his former dwelling, 



Cindy Ann and the children, worn out and 
worried, went to sleep in spite of themselves, 
but he sat there all night long, his chin be- 
tween his knees, gazing at what had been his 

Well, the beasts lay in wait for him again, 
and when he came to them they showed their 
fangs in greeting. And the velvet was over 
their claws. He had escaped them before. 
He had impugned their skill in the hunt, and 
they were ravenous for him. Now he was 
fatter, too. He went away from them with 
hard terms, and a sickness at his heart. But 
he had not said " Yes " to the terms. He was 
going home to consider the almost hopeless 
conditions under which they would let him 
build again. 

They were staying with a neighbour in town 
pending his negotiations and thither he went 
to ponder on his circumstances. Then it was 
that Cindy Ann came into the equation. She 
demanded to know what was to be done and 
how it was to be gone about. 

[ 200 ] 


' court 


(I- llll " '" '•■ 
■III " " III' UK' '" 

U>- '. II "' 

|i i. Mill •■ H|< 


" ' Say, if you says de ain't no Santy Claus again, 

I'll punch yo' head.'" 


" But Cindy Ann, honey, you do' know nuf- 
fin' 'bout bus'ness." 

"T'ain't whut I knows, but whut I got a 
right to know," was her response. 

" I do' see huccome you got any right to be 
a-pryin' into dese hyeah things." 

" Fs got de same right I had to w'ok an' 
struggle erlong an' he'p you get whut we's 
r done los'." 

Jerry winced and ended by telling her all. 

" Dat ain't nuffin' but owdacious robbery," 
said Cindy Ann. " Dem people sees dat you 
got a little some'p'n, an' dey ain't gwine stop 
ontwell dey's bu'nt an' stoled evah blessed 
cent f'om you. Je'miah, don't you have nuffin' 
mo' to do wid 'em." 

" I got to, Cindy Ann." 

" Whut fu' you got to?" 

" How I gwine buiP a cabin an' a ba'n an' 
buy a mule less'n I deal wid 'em?" 

"Dah's Mas' Sam Brabant. He'd he'p 
you out." 

Jerry rose up, his eyes flashing fire. " Cindy 



Ann," he said, "you a fool, you ain't got no 
mo' pride den a guinea hen, an' you got a heap 
less sense. W'y, befo' I go to ol' Mas' Sam 
Brabant fu' a cent, I'd sta've out in de road." 

"Huh!" said Cindy Ann, shutting her 
mouth on her impatience. 

One gets tired of thinking and saying how 
much more sense a woman has than a man 
when she comes in where his sense stops and 
his pride begins. 

With the recklessness of despair Jerry slept 
late that next morning, but he might have 
awakened early without spoiling his wife's 
plans. She was up betimes, had gone on her 
mission and returned before her spouse 

It was about ten o'clock when Brabant 
came to see him. Jerry grew sullen at once 
as his master approached, but his pride stif- 
fened. This white man should see that mis- 
fortune could not weaken him. 

"Well, Jerry," said his former master, 
"you would not come to me, eh, so I must 

[ 2 ° 2 ] 


come to you. You let a little remark of mine 
keep you from your best friend, and put you 
in the way of losing the labour of years." 

Jerry made no answer. 

"You've proved yourself able to work well, 
but Jerry," pausing. "you haven't yet shown 
that you're able to take care of yourself, you 
don't know how to keep your mouth shut." 

The ex-slave tried to prove this a lie by 
negative pantomime. 

" I'm going to lend you the money to start 

" I won't " 

"Yes, you will, if you don't. I'll lend it to 
Cindy Ann, and let her build in her own 
name. She's got more sense than you, and 
she knows how to keep still when things go 

"Mas' Sam," cried Jerry, rising quickly, 
" don' len' dat money to Cindy Ann. \V'y ef 
a ooman's got anything she nevah lets you 
hyeah de las' of it.'' 

"Will you take it, then?" 



a Yes, suh; yes, suh, an' thank 'e, Mas' 
Sam." There were sobs some place back in 
his throat. "An' nex' time ef I evah gets a 
sta't agin, I'll keep my mouf shet. Fac' is, 
I'll come to you, Mas' Sam, an' borry fu' de 
sake o' hidin'." 




BETWEEN the two women, the feud 
began in this way: When Ann 
Pease divorced her handsome but 
profligate spouse, William, Nancy Rogers 
had, with reprehensible haste, taken him for 
better or for worse. Of course, it proved for 
worse, but Ann Pease had never forgiven 

" Tears lak to me," she said, " dat she was 
des a-waitin' fu' to step inter my shoes, no 
mattah how I got outen 'em, whethah I died 
or divo'ced." 

It was in the hey-day of Nancy Rogers' 
youth, and she was still hot-tempered, so she 
retorted that "Ann Pease sut'ny did unmind 
huh ' o' de dawg in de mangah." The friends 
of the two women took sides, and a war began 
which waged hotly between them — a war 



which for the first few weeks threatened the 
unity of Mt. Pisgah Church. 

But the church in all times has been some- 
thing of a selfish institution and has known 
how to take care of itself. Now, Mt. Pisgah, 
of necessity, must recognise divorce, and of 
equal necessity, re-marriage. So when the 
Rev. Isaiah Johnson had been appealed to, 
he had spread his fat hands, closed his eyes 
and said solemnly, "Whom God hath fined, 
let no man put asundah;" peace, or at best, 
apparent peace, settled upon the troubled 

The solidity of Mt. Pisgah was assured, the 
two factions again spoke to each other, both 
gave collections on the same Sunday; but be- 
tween the two principals there was no abate- 
ment of their relentless animosity. 

Ann Pease as it happened was a "puffes- 
sor," while the new Mrs. Pease was out of the 
fold; a gay, frivolous person who had never 
sought or found grace. She laughed when a 
black wag said of the two that " they might 

[ 208 ] 


bofe be ' peas,' but dey wasn't out o' de same 
pod." But on its being repeated to Sister 
Pease, she resented it with Christian indigna- 
tion, sniffed and remarked that " Ef Wi'yum 
choosed to pick out one o' de onregenerate an' 
hang huh ez a millstone erroun' his neck, it 
wasn't none o' huh bus'ness what happened to 
him w'en dey pulled up de tares f om de 

There were some ultra-malicious ones who 
said that Sister Pease, seeing her former hus- 
band in the possession of another, had begun 
to regret her step, for the unregenerate Wil- 
liam was good-looking after all, and the 
"times" that he and his equally sinful wife 
had together were the wonder and disgust, 
the envy and horror of the whole community, 
who watched them with varying moods of 

Sister Ann Pease went her way apparently 

undisturbed. Religion has an arrogance of 

its own, and when at the end of the year the 

good widow remained unmarried she could 



toss her head, go her way, and look down from 
a far height upon the " po' sinnahs " ; indeed, 
she had rather the better of her frailer sister 
in the sympathies of the people. 

As one sister feelingly remarked, " Dat 
ooman des baihin' dat man in huh prayahs, 
an' I 'low she'll mou'n him into glory yit." 

One year of married life disillusions, and 
defiant gaiety cannot live upon itself when 
admiration fails. There is no reward in be- 
ing daring when courage becomes common- 
place. The year darkened to winter, and 
bloomed to spring again. The willows 
feathered along the river banks, and the horse- 
chestnuts budded and burst into beautiful life. 
Then came summer, rejoicing, with arms full 
of flowers, and autumn with lap full of apples 
and grain, then winter again, and all through 
the days Nancy danced and was gay, but there 
was a wistfulness in her eyes, and the tug of 
the baby no longer drew her heart. She had 
come to be "Wi'yum's Nancy," while the 

other, that other was still " Sister Pease," who 



sat above her in the high places of the people's 

And then, oh, blessedness of the winter, the 
revival came; and both she and William, 
strangely stricken together with the realisa- 
tion of their sins, fell at the mercy seat. 

"There is more joy over one sinner that re- 
penteth," — but when Will and Nancy both 
"came through" on the same night — well, 
Mt. Pisgah's walls know the story. 

There was triumph in Nancy's face as she 
proclaimed her conversion, and the first per- 
son she made for was Sister Pease. She shook 
her hands and embraced her, crying ever 
aloud between the vociferations of the congre- 
gation, " Oh, sistah, he'p me praise Him, he'p 
me praise Him," and the elder woman in the 
cause caught the infection of the moment and 
joined in the general shout. 

Afterwards she was not pleased with her- 
self. But then if she hadn't shouted, wouldn't 
it have been worse? 

The Rev. Isaiah was nothing if not dra- 



matic in his tendencies, and on the day when 
he was to receive William and Nancy Pease 
into full membership with the church, it 
struck him that nothing could make upon his 
congregation a profounder impression for 
good than to have the two new Peases joined 
by the elder one, or as the wag would have put 
it, all in one pod. And it was so ordered, and 
the thing was done. 

It is true that the preacher had to labour 
some with Sister Ann Pease, but when he 
showed her how it was her Christian duty, 
and if she failed of it her rival must advance 
before her in public opinion, she acquiesced. 
It was an easier matter with " Sister Wi'yum 
Pease." She agreed readily, for she was 
filled with condescending humility, which on 
every occasion she took the opportunity of 
displaying toward her rival. 

The Rev. Isaiah Johnson only made one 

mistake in his diplomatic manoeuvring. 

That was when he whispered to Sister Ann 

Pease, " Didn't I tell you? Des see how easy 



Sister Wi'yum give in." He was near to 
losing his cause and the wind was completely 
taken out of his sails when the widow replied 
with a snort, " Give in, my Lawd! Dat 
ooman's got a right to give in; ain't she got 
'uligion an' de man, too?" 

However, the storm blew over, and by the 
time service was begun they were all seated 
together on a front bench, Sister Nancy, Wil- 
liam, and Sister Ann. 

Now was the psychological moment, and 
after a soul-stirring hymn the preacher rose 
and announced his text — " Behold how good 
and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell 
together in unity." 

Someone in the back part of the church sug- 
gested trinity as a substitute and started a 
titter, but the preacher had already got his 
dramatic momentum, and was sweeping along 
in a tumultuous tide of oratory. Right at his 
three victims did he aim his fiery eloquence, 
and ever and again he came back to his theme, 
" Behold how good and how pleasant it is for 



brethren to dwell together in unity," even 
though Ann Pease had turned her back on 
William, whose head was low bowed, and 
Nancy was ostentatiously weeping into a yel- 
low silk handkerchief. 

The sermon spurred on to a tempestuous 
close, and then came the climax when the 
doors of the church were opened. William 
and Nancy immediately went up to end their 
probation, and after a few whispered remarks 
the minister shook hands with each of them, 
then raising his voice he said : " Now, 
brothahs and sistahs, befo' you all gives dese 
lambs de right han' o' fellowship to welcome 
dem to de fol', I want Sister Ann Pease to 
come up an' be de first to bid 'em God speed 
on the gospel way." Ann Pease visibly 
swelled, but she marched up, and without 
looking at either, shook hands witri each of 
her enemies. 

" Hallelujah, praise de Lord," shouted the 
preacher, clapping his hands, " Behold how 
good and how pleasant it is; and now let the 



congregation in gineral come aroun' and wel- 
come Brothah and Sistah Pease." 

His rich bass voice broke into " Bless Be 
the Tie that Binds," and as the volume of 
the hymn, swelled by the full chorus of the 
congregation, rolled away to the rafters of the 
little church, the people rose and marched 
solemnly round, shaking hands with the new 
members and with each other. 

Brother and Sister Pease were the last to 
leave church that day, but they found Ann 
waiting for them at door. She walked 
straight up to them and spoke: "Nancy 
Rogers," she said, "I know you; I kin see 
claih thoo you, and you ain't a foolin' me one 
bit. All I got to say is dat I has done 
my Christian duty, an' I ain't gwine do 
no mo', so don' you speak to me fo'm dis day 

For the brief space of a second there was 
something like a gleam in Nancy's eyes, but 
she replied in all meekness, " I's a full-blown 
Christian now, an' I feel it my bounden duty 



to speak to you, Sis' Pease, an' I's gwine t' 

Ignoring this defiance the other woman 
turned to her former husband. She looked 
at him with unveiled contempt, then she said 
slowly, " An' ez fu' Wi'yum, Gawd he'p you." 

Here all intercourse between these warring 
spirits might have ended but for Nancy 
Pease's persistent civility. She would speak 
to her rival on every occasion, and even call 
upon her if she could gain admittance to the 
house. And now the last drop of bitterness 
fell into the widow's cup, for the community, 
to distinguish between them, began calling her 
" Ol' Sis' Pease." This was the climax of her 
sorrows, and she who had been so devout came 
no more to the church ; she who had been so 
cheerful and companionable grew morose 
and sour and shut her doors against her 
friends. She was as one dead to her old 
world. The one bit of vivid life about her 
was her lasting hatred of the woman who bore 

her name. In vain the preacher sought to 



break down the barrier of her animosity. She 
had built it of adamant, and his was a losing 
fight. So for several years the feud went on, 
and those who had known Ann in her cheerier 
days forgot that knowledge and spoke of her 
with open aversion as " dat awful oV Mis' 
Pease." The while Nancy, in spite of 
"Wi'yum's" industrial vagaries, had flour- 
ished and waxed opulent. She continued to 
flaunt her Christian humility in the eyes of her 
own circle, and to withhold her pity from the 
poor, lonely old woman whom hate had made 
bitter and to whom the world, after all, had 
not been over-kind. But prosperity is usually 
cruel, and one needs the prick of the thorn 
one's self to know how it stings his brother. 

She was startled one day, however, out of 
her usual placidity. Sister Martin, one of 
her neighbours, dropped in and settling her- 
self with a sigh announced the important 
news, "Well, bless Gawd, oV Sis' Pease is 
gone at last." 

Nancy dropped the plate she had been pol- 



ishing, and unheeded, it smashed into bits on 
the floor. 

" Wha' — what!" she exclaimed. 

" Yes'm," Sister Martin assured her, " de ol' 
lady done passed away." 

"I didn't know she was sick; w'en she 

" She done shet huh eyes on dis worP o' 
sorror des a few minutes ago. She ain't bin 
sick mo'n two days." 

Nancy had come to herself now, and casting 
her eyes up in an excess of Christian zeal, she 
said: "Well, she wouldn't let me do nuffin' 
fu' huh in life, but I sut'ny shell try to do my 
duty by huh in death," and drying her hands 
and throwing a shawl over her head, she 
hastened over to her dead enemy's house. 

The news had spread quickly and the 
neighbourhood had just begun to gather in 
the little room which held the rigid form. 
Nancy entered and made her way through the 
group about the bed, waving the others aside 



" It is my Christian duty," she said sol- 
emnly, "to lay Sis' Pease out, an' I's gwine do 
it." She bent over the bed. Now there are 
a dozen truthful women who will vouch for 
the truth of what happened. When Nancy 
leaned over the bed, as if in obedience to the 
power of an electric shock, the corpse's eyes 
flew open, Ann Pease rose up in bed and point- 
ing a trembling finger at her frightened name- 
sake exclaimed: " Go 'way f'om me, Nancy 
Rogers, don't you daih to tech me. You ain't 
got de come-uppance of me yit. Don't you 
daih to lay me out." 

Most of this remark, it seems, fell on empty 
air, for the room was cleared in a twinkling. 
Women holding high numerous skirts over 
their heavy shoes fled in a panic, and close in 
their wake panted Nancy Pease. 

There have been conflicting stories about 
the matter, but there are those who maintain 
that after having delivered her ultimatum, 
old Mis' Pease immediately resumed the nat- 
ural condition of a dead person. In fact there 



was no one there to see, and the old lady did 
not really die until night, and when they found 
her, there was a smile of triumph on her 
Nancy did not help to lay her out. 

[ 220] 



GORDON FAIRFAX'S library held 
but three men, but the air was dense 
with clouds of smoke. The talk 
had drifted from one topic to another much 
as the smoke wreaths had puffed, floated, and 
thinned away. Then Handon Gay, who was 
an ambitious young reporter, spoke of a lynch- 
ing story in a recent magazine, and the matter 
of punishment without trial put new life into 
the conversation. 

" I should like to see a real lynching," said 
Gay rather callously. 

" Well, I should hardly express it that way," 
said Fairfax, " but if a real, live lynching were 
to come my way, I should not avoid it.' 1 

" I should," spoke the other from the depths 

of his chair, where he had been puffing in 

moody silence. Judged by his hair, which 

was freely sprinkled with gray, the speaker 



might have been a man of forty-five or fifty, 
but his face, though lined and serious, was 
youthful, the face of a man hardly past thirty. 

"What, you, Dr. Melville? Why, I 
thought that you physicians wouldn't weaken 
at anything." 

" I have seen one such affair," said the doc- 
tor gravely, " in fact, I took a prominent part 
in it." 

" Tell us about it," said the reporter, feeling 
for his pencil and note-book, which he was, 
nevertheless, careful to hide from the speaker. 

The men drew their chairs eagerly up to 
the doctor's, but for a minute he did not seem 
to see them, but sat gazing abstractedly into 
the fire, then he took a long draw upon his 
cigar and began : 

" I can see it all very vividly now. It was 
in the summer time and about seven years ago. 
I was practising at the time down in the little 
town of Bradford. It was a small and primi- 
tive place, just the location for an impecunious 

medical man, recently out of college. 



" In lieu of a regular office, I attended to 
business in the first of two rooms which I 
rented from Hiram Daly, one of the more 
prosperous of the townsmen. Here I boarded 
and here also came my patients — white and 
black — whites from every section, and blacks 
from l nigger town,' as the west portion of 
the place was called. 

" The people about me were most of them 
coarse and rough, but they were simple and 
generous, and as time passed on I had about 
abandoned my intention of seeking distinction 
in wider fields and determined to settle into 
the place of a modest country doctor. This 
was rather a strange conclusion for a young 
man to arrive at, and I will not deny that the 
presence in the house of my host's beautiful 
young daughter, Annie, had something to do 
with my decision. She was a beautiful young 
girl of seventeen or eighteen, and very far 
superior to her surroundings. She had a 
native grace and a pleasing way about her that 
made everybody that came under her spell her 



abject slave. White and black who knew her 
loved her, and none, I thought, more deeply 
and respectfully than Jube Benson, the black 
man of all work about the place. 

" He was a fellow whom everybody trusted; 
an apparently steady-going, grinning sort, as 
we used to call him. Well, he was completely 
under Miss Annie's thumb, and would fetch 
and carry for her like a faithful dog. As 
soon as he saw that I began to care for Annie, 
and anybody could see that, he transferred 
some of his allegiance to me and became my 
faithful servitor also. Never did a man have 
a more devoted adherent in his wooing than 
did I, and many a one of Annie's tasks which 
he volunteered to do gave her an extra hour 
with me. You can imagine that I liked the 
boy and you need not wonder any more that 
as both wooing and my practice waxed apace, 
I was content to give up my great ambitions 
and stay just where I was. 

" It wasn't a very pleasant thing, then, to 

have an epidemic of typhoid break out in the 

[ 226 ] 


town that kept me going so that I hardly had 
time for the courting that a fellow wants to 
carry on with his sweetheart while he is still 
young enough to call her his girl. I fumed, 
but duty was duty, and I kept to my work 
night and day. It was now that Jube proved 
how invaluable he was as a coadjutor. He 
not only took messages to Annie, but brought 
sometimes little ones from her to me, and he 
would tell me little secret things that he had 
overheard her say that made me throb with 
joy and swear at him for repeating his mis- 
tress' conversation. But best of all, Jube was 
a perfect Cerberus, and no one on earth could 
have been more effective in keeping away or 
deluding the other young fellows who visited 
the Dalys. He would tell me of it after- 
wards, chuckling softly to himself. 'An', 
Doctah, I say to Mistah Hemp Stevens, 
"'Scuse us, Mistah Stevens, but Miss Annie, 
she des gone out," an' den he go outer de gate 
lookin' moughty lonesome. When Sam Elk- 
ins come, I say, " Sh, Mistah Elkins, Miss 



Annie, she done tuk down," an' he say, 

"What, Jube, you don' reckon hit de " 

Den he stop an' look skeert, an' I say, " I 
feared hit is, Mistah Elkins," an' sheks my 
haid ez solemn. He goes outer de gate lookin' 
lak his bes' frien' done daid, an' all de time 
Miss Annie behine de cu'tain ovah de po'ch 
des' a laffin' fit to kill.' 

" Jube was a most admirable liar, but what 
could I do? He knew that I was a young 
fool of a hypocrite, and when I would rebuke 
him for these deceptions, he would give way 
and roll on the floor in an excess of delighted 
laughter until from very contagion I had to 
join him — and, well, there was no need of my 
preaching when there had been no beginning 
to his repentance and when there must ensue 
a continuance of his wrong-doing. 

" This thing went on for over three months, 
and then, pouf ! I was down like a shot. My 
patients were nearly all up, but the reaction 
from overwork made me an easy victim of the 
lurking germs. Then Jube loomed up as a 



nurse. He put everyone else aside, and with 
the doctor, a friend of mine from a neighbour- 
ing town, took entire charge of me. Even 
Annie herself was put aside, and I was cared 
for as tenderly as a baby. Tom, that was my 
physician and friend, told me all about it 
afterward with tears in his eyes. Only he was 
a big, blunt man and his expressions did not 
convey all that he meant. He told me how 
my nigger had nursed me as if I were a sick 
kitten and he my mother. Of how fiercely he 
guarded his right to be the sole one to 'do' 
for me, as he called it, and how, when the 
crisis came, he hovered, weeping, but hopeful, 
at my bedside, until it was safely passed, when 
they drove him, weak and exhausted, from 
the room. As for me, I knew little about it 
at the time, and cared less. I was too busy in 
my fight with death. To my chimerical 
vision there was only a black but gentle demon 
that came and went, alternating with a white 
fairy, who would insist on coming in on her 

head, growing larger and larger and then dis- 



solving. But the pathos and devotion in the 
story lost nothing in my blunt friend's telling. 

" It was during the period of a long con- 
valescence, however, that I came to know my 
humble ally as he really was, devoted to the 
point of abjectness. There were times when 
for very shame at his goodness to me, I would 
beg him to go away, to do something else. He 
would go, but before I had time to realise that 
I was not being ministered to, he would be 
back at my side, grinning and pottering just 
the same. He manufactured duties for the 
joy of performing them. He pretended to see 
desires in me that I never had, because he liked 
to pander to them, and when I became entirely 
exasperated, and ripped out a good round 
oath, he chuckled with the remark, l Dah, 
now, you sholy is gittin' well. Nevah did 
hyeah a man anywhaih nigh Jordan's sho' cuss 
lak dat' 

"Why, I grew to love him, love him, oh, 
yes, I loved him as well — oh, what am I say- 
ing? All human love and gratitude are 

t 2 3o] 


damned poor things; excuse me, gentlemen, 
this isn't a pleasant story. The truth is usually 
a nasty thing to stand. 

"It was not six months after that that my 
friendship to Jube, which he had been at such 
great pains to win, was put to too severe a test. 

" It was in the summer time again, and as 
business was slack, I had ridden over to see my 
friend, Dr. Tom. I had spent a good part of 
the day there, and it was past four o'clock 
when I rode leisurely into Bradford. I was 
in a particularly joyous mood and no premo- 
nition of the impending catastrophe oppressed 
me. No sense of sorrow, present or to come, 
forced itself upon me, even when I saw men 
hurrying through the almost deserted streets. 
When I got within sight of my home and saw 
a crowd surrounding it, I was only interested 
sufficiently to spur my horse into a jog trot, 
which brought me up to the throng, when 
something in the sullen, settled horror in the 
men's faces gave me a sudden, sick thrill. 
They whispered a word to me, and without a 

[231 ] 


thought, save for Annie, the girl who had been 
so surely growing into my heart, I leaped 
from the saddle and tore my way through the 
people to the house. 

" It was Annie, poor girl, bruised and bleed- 
ing, her face and dress torn from struggling. 
They were gathered round her with white 
faces, and, oh, with what terrible patience they 
were trying to gain from her fluttering lips 
the name of her murderer. They made way 
for me and I knelt at her side. She was be- 
yond my skill, and my will merged with 
theirs. One thought was in our minds. 

"'Who?' I asked. 

"Her eyes half opened, 'That black ' 

She fell back into my arms dead. 

"We turned and looked at each other. 
The mother had broken down and was weep- 
ing, but the face of the father was like iron. 

"'It is enough,' he said; 'Jube has disap- 
peared.' He went to the door and said to the 
expectant crowd, ' She is dead.' 

"I heard the angry roar without swelling 



up like the noise of a flood, and then I heard 
the sudden movement of many feet as the men 
separated into searching parties, and laying 
the dead girl back upon her couch, I took my 
rifle and went out to join them. 

"As if by intuition the knowledge had 
passed among the men that Jube Benson had 
disappeared, and he, by common consent, was 
to be the object of our search. Fully a dozen 
of the citizens had seen him hastening toward 
the woods and noted his skulking air, but as 
he had grinned in his old good-natured way 
they had, at the time, thought nothing of it. 
Now, however, the diabolical reason of his 
slyness was apparent. He had been shrewd 
enough to disarm suspicion, and by now was 
far away. Even Mrs. Daly^ who was visiting 
with a neighbour, had seen him stepping out 
by a back way, and had said with a laugh, * I 
reckon that black rascal's a-running off some- 
where.' Oh, if she had only known. 

" ' To the woods ! To the woods ! ' that was 
the cry, and away we went, each with the de- 



termination not to shoot, but to bring the cul- 
prit alive into town, and then to deal with him 
as his crime deserved. 

" I cannot describe the feelings I experi- 
enced as I went out that night to beat the 
woods for this human tiger. My heart smoul- 
dered within me like a coal, and I went for- 
ward under the impulse of a will that was half 
my own, half some more malignant power's. 
My throat throbbed drily, but water nor 
whiskey would not have quenched my thirst. 
The thought has come to me since that now I 
could interpret the panther's desire for blood 
and sympathise with it, but then I thought 
nothing. I simply went forward, and 
watched, watched with burning eyes for a 
familiar form that I had looked for as often 
before with such different emotions. 

" Luck or ill-luck, which you will, was with 
our party, and just as dawn was graying the 
sky, we came upon our quarry crouched in the 
corner of a fence. It was only half light, and 
we might have passed, but my eyes had caught 



sight of him, and I raised the cry. We lev- 
elled our guns and he rose and came 
toward us. 

" ' I fought you wa'n't gwine see me,' he 
said sullenly, { I didn't mean no harm.' 


" Some of the men took the word up with 
oaths, others were ominously silent. 

"We gathered around him like hungry 
beasts, and I began to see terror dawning in 
his eyes. He turned to me, ' I's moughty glad 
you's hyeah, doc,' he said, * you ain't gwine let 
'em whup me.' 

" { Whip you, you hound,' I said, ' I'm going 
to see you hanged,' and in the excess of my 
passion I struck him full on the mouth. He 
made a motion as if to resent the blow against 
even such great odds, but controlled himself. 

" { W'y, doctah,' he exclaimed in the saddest 
voice I have ever heard, 'w'y, doctah! I ain't 
stole nuffin' o' yo'n, an' I was comin' back. I 
only run off to see my gal, Lucy, ovah to de 



" ' You lie ! ' I said, and my hands were busy 
helping the others bind him upon a horse. 
Why did I do it? I don't know. A false 
education, I reckon, one false from the be- 
ginning. I saw his black face glooming there 
in the half light, and I could only think of him 
as a monster. It's tradition. At first I was 
told that the black man would catch me, and 
when I got over that, they taught me that the 
devil was black, and when I had recovered 
from the sickness of that belief, here were 
Jube and his fellows with faces of menacing 
blackness. There was only one conclusion: 
This black man stood for all the powers of 
evil, the result of whose machinations had 
been gathering in my mind from childhood 
up. But this has nothing to do with what 

"After firing a few shots to announce our 
capture, we rode back into town with Jube. 
The ingathering parties from all directions 
met us as we made our way up to the house. 
All was very quiet and orderly. There was 

[ 236 ] 


no doubt that it was as the papers would have 
said, a gathering of the best citizens. It was a 
gathering of stern, determined men, bent on 
a terrible vengeance. 

"We took Jube into the house, into the 
room where the corpse lay. At sight of it, 
he gave a scream like an animal's and his face 
went the colour of storm-blown water. This 
was enough to condemn him. We divined, 
rather than heard, his cry of l Miss Ann, Miss 
Ann, oh, my God, doc, you don't t'ink I done 

" Hungry hands were ready. We hurried 
him out into the yard. A rope was ready. A 
tree was at hand. Well, that part was the 
least of it, save that Hiram Daly stepped aside 
to let me be the first to pull upon the rope. It 
was lax at first. Then it tightened, and I felt 
the quivering soft weight resist my muscles. 
Other hands joined, and Jube swung off his 

"No one was masked. We knew each" 
other. Not even the culprit's face was cov- 



ered, and the last I remember of him as he 
went into the air was a look of sad reproach 
that will remain with me until I meet him 
face to face again. 

"We were tying the end of the rope to a 
tree, where the dead man might hang as a 
warning to his fellows, when a terrible cry 
chilled us to the marrow. 

" ' Cut 'im down, cut 'im down, he ain't 
guilty. We got de one. Cut him down, fu' 
Gawd's sake. Here's de man, we foun' him 
hidin' in de barn!' 

"Jube's brother, Ben, and another Negro, 
came rushing toward us, half dragging, half 
carrying a miserable-looking wretch between 
them. Someone cut the rope and Jube 
dropped lifeless to the ground. 

"'Oh, my Gawd, he's daid, he's daid!' 
wailed the brother, but with blazing eyes he 
brought his captive into the centre of the 
group, and we saw in the full light the 
scratched face of Tom Skinner — the worst 
white ruffian in the town — but the face we saw 



was not as we were accustomed to see it, merely 
smeared with dirt. It was blackened to imi- 
tate a Negro's. 

"God forgive me; I could not wait to try 
to resuscitate Jube. I knew he was already 
past help, so I rushed into the house and to 
the dead girl's side. In the excitement they 
had not yet washed or laid her out. Care- 
fully, carefully, I searched underneath her 
broken finger nails. There was skin there. 
I took it out, the little curled pieces, and went 
with it to my office. 

" There, determinedly, I examined it under 
a powerful glass, and read my own doom. It 
was the skin of a white man, and in it were 
embedded strands of short, brown hair or 

" How I went out to tell the waiting crowd 
I do not know, for something kept crying in 
my ears, ' Blood guilty! Blood guilty!' 

"The men went away stricken into silence 
and awe. The new prisoner attempted 
neither denial nor plea. When they were 



gone I would have helped Ben carry his 
brother in, but he waved me away fiercely, 
* You he'ped murder my brothah, you dat was 
his frien', go 'way, go 'way! I'll tek him 
home myse'f.' I could only respect his wish, 
and he and his comrade took up the dead man 
and between them bore him up the street on 
which the sun was now shining full. 

" I saw the few men who had not skulked 
indoors uncover as they passed, and I — I — 
stood there between the two murdered ones, 
while all the while something in my ears kept 
crying, i Blood guilty! Blood guilty!'" 

The doctor's head dropped into his hands 
and he sat for some time in silence, which was 
broken by neither of the men, then he rose, 
saying, " Gentlemen, that was my last lynch- 




THERE is no adequate reason why 
Schwalliger's name should appear 
upon the pages of history. He was 
decidedly not in good society. He was not 
even respectable as respectability goes. But 
certain men liked him and certain women 
loved him. He is dead. That is all that will 
be said of the most of us after a while. He 
was but a weak member of the community, 
but those who loved him did not condemn 
him, and they shut their eyes to his shortcom- 
ings because they were a part of him. With- 
out his follies he would not have been him- 

Schwalliger was only a race-horse " tout." 
Ah, don't hold up your hands, good friends, 
for circumstances of birth make most of us 
what we are, whether poets or pickpockets, 



and if this thick-set, bow-legged black man 
became a "tout" it was because he had to. 
Old horsemen will tell you that Schwalliger 
— no one knew where he got the name — was 
rolling and tumbling about the track at Ben- 
nings when he was still so short in stature that 
he got the name of the " tadpole." Naturally, 
he came to know much of horses, grew up 
with them, in fact, and having no wealthy 
father or mother to indulge him in his taste 
or help him use his knowledge, he did the 
next best thing and used his special education 
for himself in the humble capacity of volun- 
tary adviser to aspiring gamesters. He pros- 
pered and blossomed out into good clothes of 
a highly ornate pattern. Naturally, like a 
man in any other business, he had his ups and 
downs, and there were times when the good 
clothes disappeared and be was temporarily 
forced to return to the occupation of rubbing 
down horses; but these periods of depression 
were of short duration, and at the next turn 
of fortune's wheel he would again be on top. 



"No, thuh," he was wont to say, with his 
inimitable lisp — "no, thuh, you can't keep a 
good man down. 'Tain't no use a-talkin',you 
jeth can't. It don't do me no harm to go 
back to rubbin' now an' then. It jeth nach- 
ully keepth me on good termth with de 

And, indeed, it did seem that his prophecies 
were surer and his knowledge more direct 
after one of these periods of enforced 

There were various things whispered about 
Schwalliger; that he was no more honest than 
he should be, that he was not as sound as he 
might be; but though it might be claimed, 
and was, that he would prophesy, on occasion, 
the success of three different horses to three 
different men, no one ever accused him of 
being less than fair with the women who came 
out from the city to enjoy the races and in- 
crease their excitement by staking small sums. 
To these Schwalliger was the soul of courtesy 
and honour, and if they lost upon his advice, 



he was not happy until he had made it up to 
them again. 

One, however, who sets himself to work to 
give a racehorse tout a character may expect 
to have his labour for his pains. The pro- 
fession of his subject is against him. He may 
as well put aside his energy and say, "Well, 
perhaps he was a bad lot, but ." The pres- 
ent story is not destined to put you more in 
love with the hero of it, but 

The heat and enthusiasm at Saratoga and 
the other race-courses was done, and autumn 
and the glory of Bennings had come. The 
ingratiating Schwalliger came back with the 
horses to his old stamping ground and to hap- 
piness. The other tracks had not treated him 
kindly, and but for the kindness of his equine 
friends, whom he slept with and tended, he 
might have come back to Washington on the 
wooden steps. But he was back, and that was 
happiness for him. Broke? 

"Well," said Schwalliger, in answer to a 

trainer's question, " I ain't exactly broke, 



Misthah Johnthon, but I wath pretty badly 
bent. I goth awa jutht ath thoon ath I com- 
menth to feel mythelf crackin', but I'm hyeah 
to git even." 

He was only a rubber again, but he began 
to get even early in the week, and by Saturday 
he was again as like to a rainbow as any of 
his class. He did not, however, throw away 
his rubber's clothes. He was used to the 
caprices of fortune, and he did not know how 
soon again he should need them. That he was 
not dressed in them, and yet saved them, made 
him capable of performing his one philan- 

Had he not been gorgeously dressed he 
would not have inspired the confidence of the 
old Negro who came up to him on Tuesday 
morning, disconsolate and weeping. 

" Mistah," he said deferentially through 
his tears, "is you a spo't?" 

Mr. Schwalliger's chest protruded, and his 
very red lips opened in a smile as he an- 
swered: "Well, I do' know'th I'm tho much 



of a thpo't, but I think I knowth a thing or 

"You look lak a spo'tin' gent'man, an' ef 
you is I thought mebbe you'd he'p me out." 

"Wha'th the mattah? Up againtht it? 
You look a little ol' to be doin' the gay an' 
frithky." But Schwalliger's eyes were kind. 

"Well, I'll tell you des' how it is, suh. I 
come f'om down in Ma'lan', 'case I wanted 
to see de hosses run. My ol' mastah was 
moughty fon' of sich spo't, an' I kin' o' likes 
it myse'f, dough I don't nevah bet, suh. I's 
a chu'ch membah. But yistiddy aftahnoon 
dee was two gent'men what I seen playin' wid 
a leetle ball an' some cups ovah it, an' I went 
up to look on, an' lo an' behol', suh, it was 
one o' dese money-mekin' t'ings. W'y, I seen 
de man des' stan' dere an' mek money by the 
fis'ful. Well, I 'low I got sorter wo'ked up. 
De men dee axed me to bet, but I 'low how I 
was a chu'ch membah an' didn't tek pa't in 
no sich carryin's on, an' den dee said 'twan't 
nuffin mo' den des' a chu'ch raffle, an' it was 



mo' fun den anyt'ing else. I des' say dat I 
could fin' de little ball, an' dee said I couldn't, 
an' if I fin' it dee gin me twenty dollahs, an' if 
I didn' I des' gin 'em ten dollahs. I shuk my 
haid. I wa'n't gwine be tempted, an' I try to 
pull myse'f erway. Ef I'd 'a' gone den 'twould 
'a' been all right, but I stayed an' I stayed, an' 
I looked, an' I looked, an' it did seem lak it 
was so easy. At las', mistah, I tried it, an' I 
didn' fin' dat ball, an' dee got my ten dollahs, 
an' dat was all I had." 

" Uh, huh," said Schwalliger grimly, " thell 
game, an' dey did you." The old man shuffled 
uneasily, but continued: 

" Yes, suh, dee done me, an' de worst of it 
is, I's 'fraid to go home, even ef I could get 
dere, 'case dee boun' to axe me how I los' dat 
money, an' dee ain't no way fu' me to hide it, 
an' ef dee fin' out I been gamblin' I'll git 
chu'ched fu' it, an' I been a puffessor so 

long " The old man's voice broke, and 

Schwalliger smiled the crooked smile of a 
man whose heart is touched. 

[ 249 1 


"Whereth thith push wo'kin'?" he said 

" Right ovah thaih," said the old Negro, in- 
dicating a part of the grounds not far dis- 

"All right, you go on ovah thaih an' wait 
fu' me; an' if you thee me, remembah, you 
don't thee me. I don't know you, you don't 
know me, but I'll try to thee you out all 

The old man went on his way, a new light 
in his eyes at the hope Schwalliger had in- 
spired. Schwalliger himself made his way 
back to the stables; his dirty, horsy, rubber's 
outfit was there. He smiled intelligently as 
he looked at it. He was smiling in a different 
manner when, all dressed in it, he came up 
nearer to the grand stand. It was a very inane 
smile. He looked the very image of sim- 
plicity and ignorance, like a man who was 
anxious and ready to be duped. He strolled 
carelessly up to where the little game with the 
little ball was going on, and stood there look- 

[ 250 ] 



ing foolishly on. The three young men — 
ostensibly there was only one — were doing a 
rushing business. They were playing very 
successfully on that trait of human nature 
which feels itself glorified and exalted when 
it has got something for nothing. The rustics, 
black and white, and some who had not the 
excuse of rusticity, were falling readily into 
the trap and losing their hard-earned money. 
Every now and then a man — one of their con- 
federates, of course, would make a striking 
winning, and this served as a bait for the rest 
of the spectators. Schwalliger looked on with 
growing interest, always smiling an igno- 
rant, simple smile. Finally, as if he could 
stand it no longer, he ran his hand in his 
pocket and pulled out a roll of money — money 
in its most beautiful and tempting form, the 
long, green notes. Then, as if a sudden spirit 
of prudence had taken possession of him, he 
put it back into his pocket, shook his head, 
and began working his way out of the crowd. 
But the operator of the shell game had 



caught sight of the bills, and it was like the 
scent of blood to the tiger. His eye was on 
the simple Negro at once, and he called 

" Come up, uncle, and try your luck. See 
how I manipulate this ball. Easy enough to 
find if you're only lucky." He was so flip- 
pantly shrewd that his newness to the business 
was insolently apparent to Schwalliger, who 
knew a thing or two himself. Schwalliger 
smiled again and shook his head. 

"Oh, no, thuh," he said, "I don't play 

"Why, come and try your luck anyhow; no 
harm in it." 

Schwalliger took out his money and looked 
at it again and shook his head. He began 
again his backward movement from the 

"No," he said, "I wouldn' play erroun' 
hyeah befo' all thethe people, becauthe you 
wouldn't pay me even ef I won." 

"Why, of course we would," said the flip- 



pant operator; "everybody looks alike to us 

Schwalliger kept moving away, ever and 
anon sending wistful, inane glances back at 
his tempter. 

The bait worked admirably. The man 
closed up his little folding table, and, wink- 
ing to his confederates, followed the retreat- 
ing Negro. They stayed about with the crowd, 
while he followed on and on until Schwalli- 
ger had led him into a short alley between the 
stables. There he paused and allowed his 
pursuer to catch up with him. 

"Thay, mithtah," he said, "what you keep 
on follerin' me fu'? I do' want to play wid 
you; I ain't got but fo'ty dollahs, an' ef I 
lothe I'll have to walk home." 

" Why, my dear fellow, there ain't no way 
for you to lose. Come, now, let me show you." 
And he set the table down and began to ma- 
nipulate the ball dexterously. "Needn't put 
no money down. Just see if you can locate 
the ball a few times for fun." 



Schwalliger consented, and, greatly to his 
delight, located the little ball four times out 
of five. He was grinning now and the eye of 
the tempter was gleaming. Schwalliger took 
out his money. 

"How much you got?' he said. 

"Just eighty- five dollars, and I will lay it 
all against your forty." 

"What you got it in?" asked Schwalliger. 

" Four fives, four tens, and five five-dollar 
gold-pieces." And the man displayed it osten- 
tatiously. The tout's eyes flashed as he saw 
his opponent put his money back into his 
waistcoat pocket. 

"Well, I bet you," he said, and planked his 
money down. 

The operator took the shells and swept the 
pea first under one then under the other, and 
laid the three side by side. Schwalliger laid 
his hand upon one. He lifted it up and there 
was nothing there. 

" Ha, ha, you've had bad luck," said the 
operator — "you lose, you lose. Well, I'm 



sorry for you, old fellow, but we all take 
chances in this little game, you know." He 
was folding up his table when all of a sudden 
a cry arose to heaven from Schwalliger's lips, 
and he grappled with the very shrewd young 
man, while shriek on shriek of " Murder! 
Robber! Police!" came from his lips. The 
police at Bennings were not slow to answer 
a call like this, and they came running up, and 
Schwalliger, who, among other things, was 
something of an actor, told his story tremb- 
ling, incoherently, while the operator looked 
on aghast. Schwalliger demanded protection. 
He had been robbed. He had bet his eighty- 
five dollars against the operator's forty, and 
when he had accidentally picked out the right 
shell the operator had grabbed his money and 
attempted to escape. He wanted his money. 
He had eighty-five dollars, he said. " He had 
fo' fiveth, fo' tenth, and five five-dollar gold- 
pieceth, an' he wanted them." 

The policeman was thorough. He made 
his search at once. It was even as Schwalliger 



had said. The money was on the gambler 
even as the Negro had said. Well, there was 
nothing but justice to be done. The officers 
returned the eighty-five dollars to Schwalli- 
ger, and out of an unusual access of clemency 
bade the operator begone or they would run 
him in. 

When he had gone, Schwalliger turned 
and winked slowly at the minions of the law, 
and went quietly into a corner with them, and 
there was the sound of the shuffling of silken 
paper. Later on he found the old man and 
returned him his ten, and went back to don 
his Jacob's coat. 

Who shall say that Schwalliger was not a 
true philanthropist? 







would have told you that her father, 
or more properly her " pappy," was a 
"widover," and she would have added in her 
sad little voice, with her mournful eyes upon 
you, that her mother had " bin daid fu' nigh 
onto fou' yeahs." Then you could have wept 
for Patsy, for her years were only thirteen 
now, and since the passing away of her mother 
she had been the little mother for her four 
younger brothers and sisters, as well as her 
father's housekeeper. 

But Patsy Ann never complained; she was 
quite willing to be all that she had been until 
such time as Isaac and Dora, Cassie and little 
John should be old enough to care for them- 
selves, and also to lighten some of her domes- 
tic burdens. She had never reckoned upon 



any other manner of release. In fact her 
youthful mind was not able to contemplate 
the possibility of any other manner of change. 
But the good women of Patsy's neighbourhood 
were not the ones to let her remain in this 
deplorable state of ignorance. She was to be 
enlightened as to other changes that might 
take place in her condition, and of the un- 
speakable horrors that would transpire with 

It was upon the occasion that little John 
had taken it into his infant head to have the 
German measles just at the time that Isaac 
was slowly recovering from the chicken-pox. 
Patsy Ann's powers had been taxed to the 
utmost, and Mrs. Caroline Gibson had been 
called in from next door to superintend the 
brewing of the saffron tea, and for the general 
care of the fretful sufferer. 

To Patsy Ann, then, in ominous tone, spoke 
this oracle. " Patsy Ann, how yo' pappy doin' 
sence Matildy died?" "Matildy" was the 
deceased wife. 

[ 260 ] 


"Oh, he gittin' 'long all right. He was 
mighty broke up at de fus', but he 'low now 
dat de house go on de same's ef mammy was 

lvin . 

"Oom huh," disdainfully; "Oom huh. 
Yo' mammy bin daid fou' yeahs, ain't 

" Yes'm; mighty nigh." 

" Oom huh ; fou' yeahs is a mighty long 
time fu' a colo'd man to wait; but we'n he do 
wait dat long, hit's all de wuss we'n hit do 

" Pap bin wo'kin right stiddy at de brick- 
ya'd," said Patsy, in loyal defence against 
some vaguely implied accusation, " an' he 
done put some money in de bank." 

"Bad sign, bad sign," and Mrs. Gibson 
gave her head a fearsome shake. 

But just then the shrill voice of little John 
calling for attention drew her away and left 
Patsy Ann to herself and her meditations. 

What could this mean? 

When that lady had finished ministering to 



the sick child and returned, Patsy Ann asked 
her, " Mis' Gibson, what you mean by sayin' 
'bad sign, bad sign?'" 

Again the oracle shook her head sagely. 
Then she answered, " Chil', you do' know de 
dev'ment dey is in dis worl'." 

" But," retorted the child, " my pappy ain' 
up to no dev'ment, 'case he got 'uligion an' 
bin baptised." 

" Oom-m," groaned Sistah Gibson, " dat 
don' mek a bit o' diffunce. Who is any mo' 
ma'yin' men den de preachahs demse'ves? 
W'y Brothah 'Lias Scott done tempted mater- 
mony six times a'ready, an' 's lookin' roun' fu' 
de sebent, an' he's a good man, too." 

"Ma'yin'," said Patsy breathlessly. 

"Yes, honey, ma'yin', an' I's afeared yo' 
pappy's got notions in his haid, an' w'en a 
widower git gals in his haid dey ain' no use 
a-pesterin' wid 'em, 'case dey boun' to have 
dey way." 

"Ma'yin'," said Patsy to herself reflec- 
tively. " Ma'yin'." She knew what it meant, 

[ 262 ] 


but she had never dreamed of the possibility 
of such a thing in connection with her father. 
" Ma'yin'," and yet the idea of it did not seem 
so very unalluring. 

She spoke her thoughts aloud. 

" But ef pap Vd ma'y, Mis' Gibson, den I'd 
git a chanct to go to school. He alius savin' 
he mighty sorry 'bout me not goin'." 

" Dah now, dah now," cried the woman, 
casting a pitying glance at the child, " dat's 
de las' t'ing. He des a feelin' roun' now. You 
po', ign'ant, mothahless chil'. You ain' nevah 
had no step-mothah, an' you don' know what 
hit means." 

" But she'd tek keer o' the chillen," per- 
sisted Patsy. 

" Sich tekin' keer of 'em ez hit Vd be. 

She'd keer fu' 'em to dey graves. Nobody 

cain't tell me nuffin 'bout step-mothahs, case 

I knows 'em. Dey ain' no ooman goin' to tek 

keer o' nobody else's chile lak she'd tek keer 

o' huh own," and Patsy felt a choking come 

into her throat and a tight sensation about her 



heart while she listened as Mrs. Gibson re- 
galed her with all the choice horrors that are 
laid at the door of step-mothers. 

From that hour on, one settled conviction 
took shape and possessed Patsy Ann's mind; 
never, if she could help it, would she run the 
risk of having a step-mother. Come what 
may, let her be compelled to do what she 
might, let the hope of school fade from her 
sight forever and a day — but no step-mother 
should ever cast her baneful shadow over 
Patsy Ann's home. 

Experience of life had made her wise for 
her years, and so for the time she said noth- 
ing to her father; but she began to watch him 
with wary eyes, his goings out and his comings 
in, and to attach new importance to trifles 
that had passed unnoticed before by her 
childish mind. 

For instance, if he greased or blacked his 
boots before going out of an evening her sus- 
picions were immediately aroused and she 
saw dim visions of her father returning, on his 



arm the terrible ogress whom she had come to 
know by the name of step-mother. 

Mrs. Gibson's poison had worked well and 
rapidly. She had thoroughly inoculated the 
child's mind with the step-mother virus, but 
she had not at the same time made the parent 
widow-proof, a hard thing to do at best. So 
it came to pass that with a mysterious horror 
growing within her, Patsy Ann saw her father 
black his boots more and more often and fare 
forth o' nights and Sunday afternoons. 

Finally her little heart could contain its 
sorrow no longer, and one night when he was 
later than usual she could not sleep. So she 
slipped out of bed, turned up the light, and 
waited for him, determined to have it out, 
then and there. 

He came at last and was all surprise to meet 
the solemn, round eyes of his little daughter 
staring at him from across the table. 

" W'y, lady gal," he exclaimed, "what you 
doin' up at 'his time?" 

" I sat up fu' you. I got somep'n' to ax you, 



pappy." Her voice quivered and he snug- 
gled her up in his arms. 

" What's troublin' my little lady gal now? 
Is de chillen bin bad? " 

She laid her head close against his big 
breast, and the tears would come as she an- 
swered, "No, suh; de chillen bin ez good az 
good could be, but oh, pappy, pappy, is you 
got gal in yo' haid an' a-goin' to bring me a 
step-mo thah?" 

He held her away from him almost harshly 
and gazed at her as he queried, "W'y, you 
po' baby, you! Who's bin puttin' dis hyeah 
foolishness in yo' haid?" Then his laugh 
rang out as he patted her head and drew her 
close to him again. " Ef yo' pappy do bring 
a step-mothah into dis house, Gawd knows 
he'll bring de right kin'." 

" Dey ain't no right kin'," answered Patsy. 

"You don' know, baby; you don' know. 
Go to baid an' don' worry." 

He sat up a long time watching the candle 
sputter, then he pulled off his boots and tip- 



toed to Patsy's bedside. He leaned over her. 
"Po' little baby," he said; "what do she 
know about a step-mothah?" And Patsy saw 
him and heard him, for she was awake then, 
and far into the night. 

In the eyes of the child her father stood con- 
victed. He had "gal in his haid," and was 
going to bring her a step-mother; but it would 
never be ; her resolution was taken. 

She arose early the next morning and after 
getting her father off to work as usual, she took 
the children into hand. First she scrubbed 
them assiduously, burnishing their brown 
faces until they shone again. Then she tussled 
with their refractory locks, and after that she 
dressed them out in all the bravery of their best 

Meanwhile her tears were falling like rain, 

though her lips were shut .tight. The children 

off her mind, she turned her attention to her 

own toilet, which she made with scrupulous 

care. Then taking a small tin-type of her 

mother from the bureau drawer, she put it in 



her bosom, and leading her little brood she 
went out of the house, locking the door behind 
her and placing the key, as was her wont, 
under the door-step. 

Outside she stood for a moment or two, un- 
decided, and then with one long, backward 
glance at her home she turned and went up 
the street. At the first corner she paused 
again, spat in her hand and struck the watery 
globule with her finger. In the direction the 
most of the spittle flew, she turned. Patsy 
Ann was fleeing from home and a step-mother, 
and Fate had decided her direction for her, 
even as Mrs. Gibson's counsels had directed 
her course. 

The child had no idea where she was going. 
She knew no one to whom she might turn in 
her distress. Not even with Mrs. Gibson 
would she be safe from the horror which im- 
pended. She had but one impulse in her 
mind and that was to get beyond the reach of 
the terrible woman, or was it a monster? who 

was surely coming after her. On and on she 



walked through the town with her little band 
trudging bravely along beside her. People 
turned to look at the funny group and smiled 
good-naturedly as they passed, and one man, 
a little more amused than the rest, shouted 
after them, "Where you goin', sis, with that 
orphan's home?" 

But Patsy Ann's dignity was impregnable. 
She walked on with her head in the air, the 
desire for safety tugging at her heart. 

The hours passed and the gentle coolness 
of morning turned into the fierce heat of noon, 
and still with frequent rests they trudged on, 
Patsy ever and anon using her divining hand, 
unconscious that she was doubling and re- 
doubling on her tracks. When the whistles 
blew for twelve she got her little brood into 
the shade of a poplar tree and set them down 
to the lunch which, thoughtful little mother 
that she was, she had brought with her. After 
that they all stretched themselves out on the 
grass that bordered the sidewalk, for all the 
children were tired out, and baby John was 



both sleepy and cross. Even Patsy Ann 
drowsed and finally dropped into the deep 
slumber of childhood. They looked too 
peaceful and serene for passers-by to bother 
them, and so they slept and slept. 

It was past three o'clock when the little 
guardian awakened with a start, and shook 
her charges into activity. John wept a little 
at first, but after a while took up his journey 
bravely with the rest. 

She had just turned into a side street, dis- 
couraged and bewildered, when the round 
face of a coloured woman standing in the 
doorway of a whitewashed cottage caught 
her eye and attention. Once more she paused 
and consulted her watery oracle, then turned 
to encounter the gaze of the round-faced 
woman. The oracle had spoken and she 
turned into the yard. 

" Whaih you goin', honey? You sut'ny look 
lak you plumb tukahed out. Come in an' tell 
me all 'bout yo'se'f, you po' little t'ing. Dese 
yo' little brothas an' sistahs?" 



" Yes'm," said Patsy Ann. 

"W'y, chil', whaih you goin'?" 

" I don' know," was the truthful answer. 

"You don' know? Whaih you live?" 

" Oh, I live down on Douglas Street," said 
Patsy Ann, " an' I's runnin' away f om home 
an' my step-mothah." 

The woman looked keenly at her. 

"What yo' name?" she said. 

" My name's Patsy Ann Meriweather." 

"An' is yo' got a step-mothah?" 

"No," said Patsy Ann, "I ain' got none 
now, but I's sut'ny 'spectin' one." 

"What you know 'bout step-mothahs, 

" Mis' Gibson tol' me. Dey sho'ly is awful, 
missus, awful." 

"Mis' Gibson ain' tol' you right, honey. 
You come in hyeah and set down. You ain' 
nothin' mo' dan a baby yo'se'f, an' you ain' 
got no right to be trapsein' roun' dis away." 

Have you ever eaten muffins? Have you 
eaten bacon with onions? Have you drunk 

[ 271] 


tea? Have you seen your little brother John 
taken up on a full bosom and rocked to sleep 
in the most motherly way, with the sweetness 
and tenderness that only a mother can give? 
Well, that was Patsy Ann's case to-night. 

And then she laid them along like ten-pins 
crosswise of her bed and sat for a long time 

To Maria Adams about six o'clock that 
night came a troubled and disheartened man. 
It was no less a person than Patsy Ann's 

"Maria! Maria! What shall I do? Some- 
body don' stole all my chillen." 

Maria, strange to say, was a woman of few 

" Don' you bothah 'bout de chillen," she 
said, and she took him by the hand and led 
him to where the five lay sleeping calmly 
across the bed. 

" Dey was runnin' fom home an' dey step- 
mothah," said she. 

" Dey run hyeah fom a step-mothah an' 



foun' a mothah." It was a tribute and a pro- 
posal all in one. 

When Patsy Ann awakened, the matter 
was explained to her, and with penitent tears 
she confessed her sins. 

" But," she said to Maria Adams, " ef you's 
de kin' of fo'ks dat dey mek step-mothahs out 
o J I ain' gwine to bothah my haid no mo\" 





THERE was a great commotion in 
that part of town which was known 
as " Little Africa," and the cause of 
it was not far to seek. Contrary to the usual 
thing, this cause was not an excursion down 
the river, nor a revival, baptising, nor an 
Emancipation Day celebration. None of 
these was it that had aroused the denizens of 
" Little Africa," and kept them talking across 
the street from window to window, from door 
to door, through alley gates, over backyard 
fences, where they stood loud-mouthed and 
arms akimboed among laden clothes lines. 
No, the cause of it all was that Erastus Smith, 
Aunt Mandy Smith's boy, who had gone away 
from home several years before, and who, 
rumour said, had become a great man, was 
coming back, and " Little Africa," from 



Douglass Street to Cat Alley, was prepared to 
be dazzled. So few of those who had been 
born within the mile radius which was " Little 
Africa" went out into the great world and 
came into contact with the larger humanity 
that when one did he became a man set apart. 
And when, besides, he went into a great city 
and worked for a lawyer whose name was 
known the country over, the place of his birth 
had all the more reason to feel proud of her 

So there was much talk across the dirty 
little streets, and Aunt Mandy's small house 
found itself all of a sudden a very popular re- 
sort. The old women held Erastus up as an 
example to their sons. The old men told what 
they might have done had they had his chance. 
The young men cursed him, and the young 
girls giggled and waited. 

It was about an hour before the time of the 

arrival of Erastus, and the neighbours had 

thinned out one by one with a delicacy rather 

surprising in them, in order that the old lady 



might be alone with her boy for the first few 
minutes. Only one remained to help put the 
finishing touches to the two little rooms which 
Mrs. Smith called home, and to the prepara- 
tions for the great dinner. The old woman 
wiped her eyes as she said to her companion, 
" Hit do seem a speshul blessin', Lizy, dat I 
been spaihed to see dat chile once mo' in de 
flesh. He sholy was mighty nigh to my hea't, 
an' w'en he went erway, I thought it 'ud kill 
me. But I kin see now dat hit uz all fu' de 
bes\ Think o' 'Rastus comin' home, er big 
man! Who'd evah 'specked dat?" 

"Law, Mis' Smif, you sholy is got reason 
to be mighty thankful. Des' look how many 
young men dere is in dis town what ain't nevah 
been no 'count to dey pa'ents, ner anybody 

"Well, it's onexpected, Lizy, an' hit's 
'spected. 'Rastus alius wuz a wonnerful chil', 
an' de way he tuk to work an' study kin' o' 
promised something f'om de commencement, 
an' I 'lowed mebbe he tu'n out a preachah." 



"Tush! yo' kin thank yo' stahs he didn't 
tu'n out no preachah. Preachahs ain't no 
bettah den anybody else dese days. Dey des 
go roun' tellin' dey lies an' eatin' de whiders 
an' orphins out o' house an' home." 

"Well, mebbe hit's bes' he didn' tu'n out 
dat way. But f om de way he used to stan' on 
de chaih an' 'zort w'en he was a little boy, I 
thought hit was des what he 'ud tu'n out. O' 
co'se, being' in a law office is des as pervidin', 
but somehow hit do seem mo' worl'y." 

" Didn't I tell you de preachahs is ez 
worldly ez anybody else?" 

"Yes, yes, dat's right, but den 'Rastus, he 
had de eddication, fo' he had gone thoo de 
Third Readah." 

Just then the gate creaked, and a little 
brown-faced girl, with large, mild eyes, 
pushed open the door and came shyly in." 

" Hyeah's some flowahs, Mis' Smif," she 

said. " I thought mebbe you might like to 

decorate 'Rastus's room," and she wiped the 

confusion from her face with her apron. 



" La, chil', thankee. Dese is mighty pu'tty 
posies." These were the laurels which Sally 
Martin had brought to lay at the feet of her 
home-coming hero. No one in Cat Alley but 
that queer, quiet little girl would have 
thought of decorating anybody's room with 
flowers, but she had peculiar notions. 

In the old days, when they were children, 
and before Erastus had gone away to become 
great, they had gone up and down together 
along the byways of their locality, and had 
loved as children love. Later, when Erastus 
began keeping company, it was upon Sally 
that he bestowed his affections. No one, not 
even her mother, knew how she had waited 
for him all these years that he had been gone, 
few in reality, but so long and so many to 

And now he was coming home. She scorched 
something in the ironing that day because 
tears of joy were blinding her eyes. Her 
thoughts were busy with the meeting that was 
to be. She had a brand new dress for the 



occasion — a lawn, with dark blue dots, and a 
blue sash — and there was a new hat, wonder- 
ful with the flowers of summer, and for both 
of them she had spent her hard-earned sav- 
ings, because she wished to be radiant in the 
eyes of the man who loved her. 

Of course, Erastus had not written her; but 
he must have been busy, and writing was hard 
work. She knew that herself, and realised it 
all the more as she penned the loving little 
scrawls which at first she used to send him. 
Now they would not have to do any writing 
any more; they could say what they wanted 
to each other. He was coming home at last, 
and she had waited long. 

They paint angels with shining faces and 
halos, but for real radiance one should have 
looked into the dark eyes of Sally as she sped 
home after her contribution to her lover's 

When the last one of the neighbours had 
gone Aunt Mandy sat down to rest herself and 
to await the great event. She had not sat 

[ 282] 


there long before the gate creaked. She arose 
and hastened to the window. A young man 
was coming down the path. Was that 'Ras- 
tus? Could that be her 'Rastus, that gorgeous 
creature with the shiny shoes and the nobby 
suit and the carelessly-swung cane? But he 
was knocking at her door, and she opened it 
and took him into her arms. 

"Why, howdy, honey, howdy; hit do beat 
all to see you agin, a great big, grown-up man. 
You're lookin' des' lak one o' de big folks up 
in town." 

Erastus submitted to her endearments with 
a somewhat condescending grace, as who 
should say, "Well, poor old fool, let her go 
on this time; she doesn't know any better." 
He smiled superiorly when the old woman 
wept glad tears, as mothers have a way of do- 
ing over returned sons, however great fools 
these sons may be. She set him down to the 
dinner which she had prepared for him, and 
with loving patience drew from his pompous 
and reluctant lips some of the story of his 



doings and some little word about the places 
he had seen. 

" Oh, yes," he said, crossing his legs, " as 
soon as Mr. Carrington saw that I was pretty 
bright, he took me right up and gave me a 
good job, and I have been working for him 
right straight along for seven years now. Of 
course, it don't do to let white folks know all 
you're thinking; but I have kept my ears and 
my eyes right open, and I guess I know just 
about as much about law as he does himself. 
When I save up a little more I'm going to put 
on the finishing touches and hang out my 

" Don't you nevah think no mo' 'bout bein' a 
preachah, 'Rastus?" his mother asked. 

"Haw, haw! Preachah? Well, I guess 
not; no preaching in mine; there's nothing in 
it. In law you always have a chance to get 
into politics and be the president if your ward 
club or something like that, and from that on 
it's an easy matter to go on up. You can trust 
me to know the wires." And so the tenor of 

[ 284 ] 


his boastful talk ran on, his mother a little 
bit awed and not altogether satisfied with the 
new 'Rastus that had returned to her. 

He did not stay in long that evening, al- 
though his mother told him some of the 
neighbours were going to drop in. He said 
he wanted to go about and see something of 
the town. He paused just long enough to 
glance at the flowers in his room, and to his 
mother's remark, "Sally Ma'tin brung dem 
in," he returned answer, "Who on earth is 
Sally Martin?" 

"Why, 'Rastus," exclaimed his mother, 
" does yo' 'tend lak yo' don't 'member little 
Sally Ma'tin yo' used to go wid almos' f'om 
de time you was babies? W'y, I'm s'prised 
at you." 

" She has slipped my mind," said the young 

For a long while the neighbours who had 
come and Aunt Mandy sat up to wait for 
Erastus, but he did not come in until the last 
one was gone. In fact, he did not get in until 



nearly four o'clock in the morning, looking a 
little weak, but at least in the best of spirits, 
and he vouchsafed to his waiting mother the 
remark that " the little old town wasn't so 
bad, after all." 

Aunt Mandy preferred the request that she 
had had in mind for some time, that he would 
go to church the next day, and he consented, 
because his trunk had come. 

It was a glorious Sunday morning, and the 
old lady was very proud in her stiff gingham 
dress as she saw her son come into the room 
arrayed in his long coat, shiny hat, and shinier 
shoes. Well, if it was true that he was 
changed, he was still her 'Rastus, and a great 
comfort to her. There was no vanity about 
the old woman, but she paused before the glass 
a longer time than usual, settling her bonnet 
strings, for she must look right, she told her- 
self, to walk to church with that elegant son 
of hers. When he was all ready, with cane in 
hand, and she was pausing with the key in the 
door, he said, " Just walk on, mother, I'll catch 



you in a minute or two." She went on and 
left him. 

He did not catch her that morning on her 
way to church, and it was a sore disappoint- 
ment, but it was somewhat compensated for 
when she saw him stalking into the chapel in 
all his glory, and every head in the house 
turned to behold him. 

There was one other woman in " Little 
Africa" that morning who stopped for a 
longer time than usual before her looking- 
glass and who had never found her bonnet 
strings quite so refractory before. In spite of 
the vexation of flowers that wouldn't settle and 
ribbons that wouldn't tie, a very glad face 
looked back at Sally Martin from her little 
mirror. She was going to see 'Rastus, 'Rastus 
of the old days in which they used to walk 
hand in hand. He had told her when he 
went away that some day he would come back 
and marry her. Her heart fluttered hotly 
under her dotted lawn, and it took another 
application of the chamois to take the perspi- 



ration from her face. People had laughed at 
her, but that morning she would be vindicated. 
He would walk home with her before the 
whole church. Already she saw him bowing 
before her, hat in hand, and heard the set 
phrase, "May I have the pleasure of your 
company home?" and she saw herself sailing 
away upon his arm. 

She was very happy as she sat in church 
that morning, as happy as Mrs. Smith herself, 
and as proud when she saw the object of her 
affections swinging up the aisle to the collec- 
tion table, and from the ring she knew that it 
could not be less than a half dollar that he 
put in. 

There was a special note of praise in her 
voice as she joined in singing the doxology 
that morning, and her heart kept quivering 
and fluttering like a frightened bird as the 
people gathered in groups, chattering and 
shaking hands, and he drew nearer to her. 
Now they were almost together; in a moment 

their eyes would meet. Her breath came 



quickly; he had looked at her, surely he must 
have seen her. His mother was just behind 
him, and he did not speak. Maybe she had 
changed, maybe he had forgotten her. An 
unaccustomed boldness took possession of her, 
and she determined that she would not be 
overlooked. She pressed forward. She saw 
his mother take his arm and heard her whis- 
per, "Dere's Sally Ma'tin" this time, and she 
knew that he looked at her. He bowed as if 
to a stranger, and was past her the next 
minute. When she saw him again he was 
swinging out of the door between two admir- 
ing lines of church-goers who separated on 
the pavement. There was a brazen yellow 
girl on his arm. 

She felt weak and sick as she hid behind 
the crowd as well as she could, and for that 
morning she thanked God that she was 

Aunt Mandy trudged home alone, and when 
the street was cleared and the sexton was about 

to lock up, the girl slipped out of the church 



and down to her own little house. In the 
friendly shelter of her room she took off her 
gay attire and laid it away, and then sat down 
at the window and looked dully out. For 
her, the light of day had gone out 

[ 290 ] 



IT was June, and nearing the closing 
time of school. The air was full of the 
sound of bustle and preparation for the 
final exercises, field day, and drills. Drills 
especially, for nothing so gladdens the heart 
of the Washington mother, be she black or 
white, as seeing her boy in the blue cadet's 
uniform, marching proudly to the huzzas of 
an admiring crowd. Then she forgets the 
many nights when he has come in tired out 
and dusty from his practice drill, and feels 
only the pride and elation of the result. 

Although Tom did all he could outside of 
study hours, there were many days of hard 
work for Hannah Davis, when her son went 
into the High School. But she took it upon 
herself gladly, since it gave Bud the chance 
to learn, that she wanted him to have. When, 



however, he entered the Cadet Corps it seemed 
to her as if the first steps toward the fulfilment 
of all her hopes had been made. It was a hard 
pull to her, getting the uniform, but Bud 
himself helped manfully, and when his 
mother saw him rigged out in all his regi- 
mentals, she felt that she had not toiled in 
vain. And in fact it was worth all the 
trouble and expense just to see the joy and 
pride of "little sister," who adored Bud. 

As the time for the competitive drill drew 
near there was an air of suppressed excitement 
about the little house on " D " Street, where 
the three lived. All day long " little sister," 
who was never very well .and did not go to 
school, sat and looked out of the window on 
the uninteresting prospect of a dusty thorough- 
fare lined on either side with dull red brick 
houses, all of the same ugly pattern, inter- 
spersed with older, uglier, and viler frame 
shanties. In the evening Hannah hurried 
home to get supper against the time when 
Bud should return, hungry and tired from 



his drilling, and the chore work which fol- 
lowed hard upon its heels. 

Things were all cheerful, however, for as 
they applied themselves to the supper, the boy, 
with glowing face, would tell just how his 
company " A" was getting on, and what they 
were going to do to companies " B " and " C." 
It was not boasting so much as the expression 
of a confidence, founded upon the hard work 
he was doing, and Hannah and the " little sis- 
ter" shared that with him. 

The child often, listening to her brother, 
would clap her hands or cry, "Oh, Bud, 
you're just splendid an' I know T you'll beat 

" If hard work'll beat 'em, we've got 'em 
beat," Bud would reply, and Hannah, to add 
an admonitory check to her own confidence, 
would break in with, "Now, don't you be too 
sho', son; dey ain't been no man so good dat 
dey wasn't somebody bettah." But all the 
while her face and manner were disputing 
what her words expressed. 



The great day came, and it was a wonderful 
crowd of people that packed the great base- 
ball grounds to overflowing. It seemed that 
all of Washington's coloured population was 
out, when there were really only about one- 
tenth of them there. It was an enthusiastic, 
banner-waving, shouting, hallooing crowd. 
Its component parts were strictly and frankly 
partisan, and so separated themselves into sec- 
tions differentiated by the colours of the flags 
they carried and the ribbons they wore. Side 
yelled defiance at side, and party bantered 
party. Here the blue and white of Company 
"A" flaunted audaciously on the breeze be- 
side the very seats over which the crimson and 
gray of " B " were flying, and these in their 
turn nodded defiance over the imaginary bar- 
rier between themselves and " C's " black and 

The band was thundering out " Sousa's 
High School Cadet's March," the school offi- 
cials, the judges, and reporters, and some 

with less purpose were bustling about, dis- 



cussing and conferring. Altogether doing 
nothing much with beautiful unanimity. All 
was noise, hurry, gaiety, and turbulence. In 
the midst of it all, with blue and white rosettes 
pinned on their breasts, sat two spectators, 
tense and silent, while the breakers of move- 
ment and sound struck and broke around 
them. It meant too much to Hannah and 
" little sister" for them to laugh and shout. 
Bud was with Company " A, " and so the 
whole programme was more like a religious 
ceremonial to them. The blare of the brass 
to them might have been the trumpet call to 
battle in old Judea, and the far-thrown tones 
of the megaphone the voice of a prophet pro- 
claiming from the hill-top. 

Hannah's face glowed w T ith expectation, 
and " little sister" sat very still and held her 
mother's hand save when amid a burst of 
cheers Company "A" swept into the parade 
ground at a quick step, then she sprang up, 
crying shrilly, "There's Bud, there's Bud, I 
see him," and then settled back into her seat 



overcome with embarrassment. The mother's 
eyes danced as soon as the sister's had singled 
out their dear one from the midst of the blue- 
coated boys, and it was an effort for her to 
keep from following her little daughter's ex- 
ample even to echoing her words. 

Company "A" came swinging down the 
field toward the judges in a manner that called 
for more enthusiastic huzzas that carried even 
the Freshman of other commands "off their 
feet." They were, indeed, a set of fine-looking 
young fellows, brisk, straight, and soldierly in 
bearing. Their captain was proud of them, and 
his very step showed it. He was like a skilled 
operator pressing the key of some great 
mechanism, and at his command they moved 
like clockwork. Seen from the side it was as 
if they were all bound together by inflex- 
ible iron bars, and as the end man moved all 
must move with him. The crowd was full of 
exclamations of praise and admiration, but a 
tense quiet enveloped them as Company " A" 
came from columns of four into line for volley 



firing. This was a real test; it meant not only 
grace and precision of movement, singleness 
of attention and steadiness, but quickness tem- 
pered by self-control. At the command the 
volley rang forth like a single shot. This was 
again the signal for wild cheering and the 
blue and white streamers kissed the sunlight 
with swift impulsive kisses. Hannah and 
Little Sister drew closer together and pressed 

The " A" adherents, however, were consid- 
erably cooled when the next volley came out, 
badly scattering, with one shot entirely apart 
and before the rest. Bud's mother did not en- 
tirely understand the sudden quieting of the 
adherents; they felt vaguely that all was not 
as it should be, and the chill of fear laid hold 
upon their hearts. What if Bud's company, 
(it was always Bud's company to them), what 
if his company should lose. But, of course, 
that couldn't be. Bud himself had said that 
they would win. Suppose, though, they 
didn't; and with these thoughts they were mis- 



erable until the cheering again told them that 
the company had redeemed itself. 

Someone behind Hannah said, "They are 
doing splendidly, they'll win, they'll win yet 
in spite of the second volley." 

Company " A ", in columns of fours, had ex- 
ecuted the right oblique in double time, and 
halted amid cheers ; then formed left halt into 
line without halting. The next movement 
was one looked forward to with much anxiety 
on account of its difficulty. The order was 
marching by fours to fix or unfix bayonets. 
They were going at a quick step, but the boys' 
hands were steady — hope was bright in their 
hearts. They were doing it rapidly and 
freely, when suddenly from the ranks there 
was the bright gleam of steel lower down than 
it should have been. A gasp broke from the 
breasts of Company " A's " friends. The blue 
and white drooped disconsolately, while a few 
heartless ones who wore other colours at- 
tempted to hiss. Someone had dropped his 
bayonet But with muscles unquivering, 



without a turned head, the company moved 
on as if nothing had happened, while one of 
the judges, an army officer, stepped into the 
wake of the boys and picked up the fallen 

No two eyes had seen half so quickly as 
Hannah and Little Sister's who the blunderer 
was. In the whole drill there had been but 
one figure for them, and that was Bud, Bud, 
and it was he who had dropped his bayonet. 
Anxious, nervous with the desire to please 
them, perhaps with a shade too much of 
thought of them looking on with their hearts 
in their eyes, he had fumbled, and lost all 
that he was striving for. His head went round 
and round and all seemed black before him. 

He executed the movements in a dazed way. 
The applause, generous and sympathetic, as 
his company left the parade ground, came to 
him from afar off, and like a wounded animal 
he crept away from his comrades, not because 
their reproaches stung him, for he did not 
hear them, but because he wanted to think 

[ 301 1 


what his mother and "Little Sister" would 
say, but his misery was as nothing to that of 
the two who sat up there amid the ranks of 
the blue and white holding each other's hands 
with a despairing grip. To Bud all of the 
rest of the contest was a horrid nightmare ; he 
hardly knew when the three companies were 
marched back to receive the judges' decision. 
The applause that greeted Company " B " 
when the blue ribbons were pinned on the 
members' coats meant nothing to his ears. He 
had disgraced himself and his company. What 
would his mother and his " Little Sister" say? 
To Hannah and " Little Sister," as to Bud, 
all of the remainder of the drill was a misery. 
The one interest they had had in it failed, and 
not even the dropping of his gun by one of 
Company " E " when on the march, halting in 
line, could raise their spirits. The little girl 
tried to be brave, but when it was all over she 
was glad to hurry out before the crowd got 
started and to hasten away home. Once there 
and her tears flowed freely; she hid her face 



in her mother's dress, and sobbed as if her 
heart would break. 

" Don't cry, Baby! don't cry, Lammie, dis 
ain't da las' time da wah goin' to be a drill. 
Bud '11 have a chance anotha time and den 
he'll show 'em somethin'; bless you, I spec' 
he'll be a captain." But this consolation of 
philosophy was nothing to " Little Sister." It 
was so terrible to her, this failure of Bud's. 
She couldn't blame him, she couldn't blame 
anyone else, and she had not yet learned to lay 
all such unfathomed catastrophes at the door 
of fate. What to her was the thought of an- 
other day; what did it matter to her whether 
he was a captain or a private? She didn't 
even know the meaning of the words, but 
" Little Sister," from the time she knew Bud 
was a private, that that was much better than 
being captain or any of those other things 
with a long name, so that settled it. 

Her mother finally set about getting the 
supper, while " Little Sister" drooped discon- 
solately in her own little splint-bottomed chair. 



She sat there weeping silently until she heard 
the sound of Bud's step, then she sprang up 
and ran away to hide. She didn't dare to face 
him with tears in her eyes. Bud came in 
without a word and sat down in the dark front 

"Dat you, Bud?" asked his mother. 

" Yassum." 

" Bettah come now, supper's puty 'nigh 

" I don' want no supper." 

"You bettah come on, Bud, I reckon you 
mighty tired." 

He did not reply, but just then a pair of 
thin arms were put around his neck and a soft 
cheek was placed close to his own. 

" Come on, Buddie," whispered " Little 
Sister," "Mammy an' me know you didn't 
mean to do it, an' we don' keer." 

Bud threw his arms around his little sister 
and held her tightly. 

" It's only you an' ma I care about," he said, 
u though I am sorry I spoiled the company's 



drill ; they say " B " would have won anyway 
on account of our bad firing, but I did want 
you and ma to be proud." 

" We is proud," she whispered, "we's mos' 
prouder dan if you'd won," and pretty soon 
she led him by the hand out to supper. 

Hannah did all she could to cheer the boy 
and to encourage him to hope for next year, 
but he had little to say in reply, and went to 
bed early. 

In the morning, though it neared school 
time, Bud lingered around and seemed in no 
disposition to get ready to go. 

" Bettah git ready fer school," said Hannah 
cheerily to him. 

" I don't believe I want to go any more," 
Bud replied. 

" Not go any more? Why ain't you shamed 
to talk that way! O' cose you a goin' to school." 

" I'm ashamed to show my face to the boys." 

"What you say about de boys? De boys 
ain't a-goin' to give you no edgication when 
you need it." 



"Oh, I don't want to go, ma; you don't 
know how I feel." 

" I'm kinder sorry I let you go into dat com- 
pany," said Hannah musingly; " 'cause it was 
de teachin' I wanted you to git, not de prancin' 
and steppin'; but I did t'ink it would make 
mo' of a man of you, an' it ain't. Yo' pappy 
was a po' man, ha'd wo'kin', an' he wasn't high- 
toned neither, but from the time I first see him 
to the day of his death I nevah seen him back 
down because he was afeared of anything," 
and Hannah turned to her work. 

" Little Sister" went up to Bud and slipped 
her hand in his. "You ain't a-goin' to back 
down, is you, Buddie?" she said. 

"No," said Bud stoutly, as he braced his 
shoulders, " I'm a-goin'." 

But no persuasion could make him wear his 

The boys were a little cold to him, and some 
were brutal. But most of them recognised the 
fact that what had happened to Tom Harris 
might have happened to any one of them. 



Besides, since the percentage had been shown, 
it was found that " B " had outpointed them in 
many ways, and so their loss was not due to 
the one grave error. Bud's heart sank when 
he dropped into his seat in the Assembly Hall 
to find seated on the platform one of the blue- 
coated officers who had acted as judge the day 
before. After the opening exercises were 
over he was called upon to address the school. 
He spoke readily and pleasantly, laying 
especial stress upon the value of discipline; to- 
ward the end of his address he said: " I sup- 
pose Company l A ' is heaping accusations upon 
the head of the young man who dropped his 
bayonet yesterday." Tom could have died. 
" It was most regrettable," the officer con- 
tinued, " but to me the most significant thing 
at the drill was the conduct of that cadet after- 
ward. I saw the whole proceeding; I saw 
that he did not pause for an instant, that he did 
not even turn his head, and it appeared to me 
as one of the finest bits of self-control I had 
ever seen in any youth; had he forgotten him- 



self for a moment and stopped, however 
quickly, to secure the weapon, the next line 
would have been interfered with and your 
whole movement thrown into confusion." 
There were a half hundred eyes glancing fur- 
tively at Bud, and the light began to dawn in 
his face. "This boy has shown what disci- 
pline means, and I for one want to shake hands 
with him, if he is here." 

When he had concluded the Principal 
called Bud forward, and the boys, even his 
detractors, cheered as the officer took his hand. 

"Why are you not in uniform, sir?" he 

" I was ashamed to wear it after yesterday," 
was the reply. 

" Don't be ashamed to wear your uniform," 
the officer said to him, and Bud could have 
fallen on his knees and thanked him. 

There were no more jeers from his com- 
rades now, and when he related it all at home 
that evening there were two more happy 
hearts in that South Washington cottage. 



" I told you we was more prouder dan if 
you'd won," said " Little Sister." 

"An' what did I tell you 'bout backin' 
out?" asked his mother. 

Bud was too happy and too busy to answer; 
he was brushing his uniform.